Dear Diastasis Recti, I’m so over you.

See my most recent diastasis recti update here.

A proven system designed to fix Diastasis Recti with Exercise

Get 15% off any MuTu program with the code “INSPIRED15” 

UPDATE: Diastasis expert Wendy Powell answers all of your questions from the comment section here. 

I’ve been putting this off for a while, but today I am finally committing to healing my diastasis.  What is diastasis recti?  It’s that gap between my abdominal muscles that comes as a result of two pregnancies and c-sections.  While a c-section may not cause the separation, it has been my experience as a personal trainer that moms who have had c-sections have a higher chance of developing diastasis.  Abdominal weakness, hormonal changes, and pregnancy can also cause this separation.  In fact, 1 in 3 moms has some degree of diastasis!  I always encourage moms to check for diastasis before doing any abdominal exercises, as most traditional ab exercises (like crunches) can actually make the separation worse. When I taught my Baby Boot Camp classes, moms with diastasis did the healing exercises while the other moms did crunches and planks.

A proven system designed to fix Diastasis Recti with Exercise

So what’s the big deal?  Well, the gap in my muscles makes my core weak.  And a weak core leads to injuries.  Also, having this separation means that whenever I eat any amount of food, there’s nothing to keep my tummy from pooching out.  Those muscles just step right aside.  While I’ve become an expert at sucking in, I would rather have strong muscles to keep my dinner in.

I’m really good at telling other moms how to heal their diastasis, but not so good at actually doing it myself.  Isn’t that how it usually goes?  So now I’m ready to walk the walk.  After a long bout of injuries to my neck, back and hips, I am finally at a place where I can exercise regularly.  My summer goal is to get in at least two good runs each week on the treadmill along with some strength exercises.  To supplement those workouts, my plan is to do the following exercises three times a week at home.

UPDATE: Diastasis expert Wendy Powell answers all of your questions from the comment section here. 

Why some moms shouldn't be doing crunches #diastasis

If you’re like me, you might look at this workout and think it’s way too easy.  But if you have a diastasis, it’s actually very challenging!  The first two exercises make my lower back incredibly tired, which shows me just how weak my core is and how prone I am to further back injuries.

See my most recent diastasis update here.

As a personal trainer, sometimes it’s hard to get myself to go back to basics.  But pushing through the pain and doing more than I should only gets me into trouble when I’m working with a weakened core.  That’s how I ended up barely able to walk last year.  So back to basics it is for now.

How do I know if I have diastasis recti?

To check yourself for diastasis, lie on your back with your knees bent.  With your fingers pointing down toward your feet, hold two fingers flat on your bellybutton.  Press your fingers down as you slowly lift your head (keep your shoulders on the ground).  Do you feel a gully between the two muscles?  Measure how many fingers wide it is (mine is about 2.5 fingers wide).  If you can fit two or more fingers inside, you should not do crunches or sit ups.  If this is you, I would recommend halting all traditional abdominal exercises and doing the workout on this page until your separation heals.

You can do it with me!

Have you ever been checked for diastasis recti?  Have you ever heard of it?  Will you be doing this workout with me?

5 Diastasis Exercises That Work!

UPDATE: Diastasis expert Wendy Powell answers all of your questions from the comment section here. 

A diastasis expert answers all of your questions! Alysa Bajenaru interviews Wendy Powell of MuTu System on

A proven system designed to fix Diastasis Recti with Exercise

Get 15% off any MuTu program with the code “INSPIRED15” 
Related Posts:

Made for Moms: Home Workouts

How Better Alignment Helps Fix Diastasis Recti

Eat well to heal your diastasis recti – How good nutrition can help your body to close “The Gap”

5 Exercises to Heal Diastasis

2 Diastasis Recti Fixes that WON’T Work – And What Will

Diastasis Recti Check List

A Diastasis Expert Answers All of Your Questions




  • Sarah @mamasarahjane June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I will definitely be doing this with you!! Thank you so, so much for posting this. I’ve known that I’ve had it for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure which exercises were good and which were bad!

    • inspiredrd June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Oh good, so glad this helps! Let’s keep each other accountable!

    • Lizzy Smith September 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      I have it and had it for my last baby too. Lindsay Brinn has work out DVDs that totally help heal this and get your mommy tummy gone. I am a mom of a three, two year old and a ten month old. Look up

  • janetha [meals & moves] June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    i thought i had that! so i was checked. turns out i don’t have it, but i know all about it!

    • inspiredrd June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Glad you don’t have it!

  • inspiredrd June 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Tiff, have you ever done the exercises on a regular basis? I have seen people get great results when they are consistent with them!

    • Jenny Mills March 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

      thanks so much for the info. I had no idea. I will definitely have to use these exercises and stretches instead of crutches . hopefully this will help my stomach go back to normal.

  • Tiffany June 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I had never heard of it but just checked and I could fit 2 fingers. I carried twins and had a c-section so it doesn’t surprise me. I will try some of these exercises instead of crunches for a while.

    • inspiredrd June 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Tiffany, I hope these exercises help!

  • Andrea Kruse June 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks for the post Alysa! I have had 2 C-sections and planning a 3rd pregnancy. My core has never gotten back to strong. I have more back fatigue and pain now because I am not as strong.

    Can a woman who practices these regularly regain pre-surgery strength in her core?

    • inspiredrd June 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      As far as I know, if you can get the separation smaller, and really work on your core, you can get all strength back. Some women who have really large diastasis require surgery, but most of us should be able to correct it somewhat with exercise.

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets June 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Sadly, like Tiff, I’ve had this for a long time. I was told I started crunches too early after my first child was born, and it never healed properly (after 4 kids). How long do you have to do these exercises? I spent one summer, about 12 weeks doing them, and noticed no change. Not one iota.

    • inspiredrd June 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Aimee, which ones did you do? Did you do them every day? How big is your separation? The mom I know who had the most success had about a 2-finger separation and literally did the first two exercises every day, multiple times a day. I’m sorry yours didn’t budge, that must be frustrating. I should get a diastasis expert in here to answer some of our questions!

    • Alisha S September 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      I just had my 3rd baby about 4 months ago, and was told that I have this. My Dr. told me that crunches wouldn’t touch it. She said it’s all about the leg lifts… and my gap has gotten smaller…but I haven’t been totally faithful to doing them…cause three kids are keeping me busy, busy, busy!

      • Daphne January 20, 2013 at 4:43 am

        So glad I stumbled across this. Will these exercises be ok for someone with a lower back injury and neck injury from a MVA ?
        I have had this separation thing since my first child. who just turned 13. I have since had 2 more kid swith the youngest being almost 6 now. I really want my energy and strength back!

  • Truly Madly Freely June 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    OMG! I was a trainer many moons ago also. But
    it was long before my own 2 c-sections and I never
    learned about exercises specifically for it. I can fit 3 fingers!
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m pregnant
    when I’m not. All because my stomach gets so distended. I’m going
    to try these and pray for success. Thank You!!

    • inspiredrd June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Let me know how it goes Christy, I know how you feel. Sometimes after dinner I look six months pregnant!

    • Pammy D April 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Truly Madly Freely,

      So, it’s been 10 months, have you seen any change? were you religious about it? Please let us know!!! I’m about to deliver #3, and I know as fit as I was, I did have a bit of separation before and this has been my biggest pregnancy yet…so MORE separation. I’m eager to hear!!

  • kia June 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I have my mommy + me yoga clients check this every session they do with me.

  • Truly Madly Freely-Christy June 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Yes, Alysa, find us an expert!! I have been researching this all day and I’ve seen that a few people actually are going to a physical therapist for correction. And then of course many people are saying it can only be corrected (if severe) with plastic surgery. I would much rather go the exercise route. A couple of questions that may also help someone else. I know that with strength training you should really give specific muscle groups at least a day of rest in between in order the rest and rebuild the muscle. Do you think it should be the same with these exercises? Maybe do them every other day? And if we were to see a doctor should we go to our regular doctor, OB/GYN or GI to also get checked for any possible herniation.
    Thank you for sharing this. For the first time in a long time I feel there may actually be hope for my pooch!!

  • Claudia June 22, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Wow, this was so great to read. I had two c-sections and have that aweful “pooch”! I’ve done so many crunches to no avail 🙁 and could never understand why my pooch never went away. I’m gonna start on these exercises ASAP and I hope my pooch will fade away. Never had heard of this before so this article has helped inform me on so much! Thank you so very much for this information 🙂

    • inspiredrd June 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

      You’re welcome Claudia, I hope they help!

  • inspiredrd June 22, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thank you Helene, I would love to chat with you more on this topic. We have a lot of questions we need answered about this!

  • Liz J June 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I was told to wrap my stomach to help keep it tight during exercise and for me it has helped. I wrap my abs with a long piece of gauze and then tie a tea towel on top of it. I can see a difference. These workouts look great thanks!

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  • LM July 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I had a c-section 2 years ago and while I went back to my pre-preggo size, I still looked 4-5 months pregnant. After being told by my OB that I had a diastasis and that it could only be fixed by surgery, I set out to find another answer. That’s when I found Julie Tupler. I completed her 6 week on line program this past April-May and within 2 weeks of doing the exercises my diastasis became considerably smaller. I continued the exercises after the program and closed my 3 finger diastasis in about 8-10 weeks. You must be committed to the exercises. I did them 3 x’s per day EVERYDAY for the first 6 weeks. I admit that since I had such great results I got lax and skipped them a lot. Like any workout program you need to continue it for maintenance. I’ve recommitted myself to them and usually do them now once a day. Oh and I finally put a bikini back on this summer! 🙂

  • Gabrielle Beaudoin July 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Wow, thank you so much for this! I am so happy I found this site! I had two CS, a little less than two years apart, and while I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I still cannot exercise properly because it always hurts my belly. I’m going to go back to basics now and get rid of this thing. Thanks again!

  • Charlene August 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    It’s good to know i’,m not alone even though i knew that really. I’m frustrated b/c i am a trainer so dedicated to exercise and health and this is something that seems bigger than me. I am very thin also and have a bulge ( a 1 1/2–2 finger width sep.) after 3 c-sections. I can suck it in and up a bit when wearing a bikini, but it’s so uncomfortable all the time and always on my mind. I would like not to think about this anymore. I’m buildin faith for a healing from God. i can do the exercises but I’m going to pray without ceasing for a FULL healing. God hears our prayers. i will pray for all of you also.

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  • Tina August 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Hi! Okay, so we should wait to do crunches until the diastasis is healed, but how would that apply to pilates? Would pilates help or hurt the healing process, in your opinion?! 🙂

    • inspiredrd August 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Tina, did you see my latest post about diastasis? It has some updated information. And NO, don’t do crunches if you have wider than a 2-finger gap. Many pilates moves should be off-limits too. If you are going to a class, make sure you have an instructor who understands diastasis and can give you modifications.

  • Danielle September 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t even have to do the finger test, I’m SURE I suffer from this! I have been doing Jillian Michael’s workout and while the top of my abs were seeing some definition, my pooch would not go away. I had heard of the muscles separating but I thought I could crunch my way back to normal. I can’t wait to try this and see if it works for me. I guess the speed at which it works will depend how large the gap is, but what time frame should I be looking at? I like to have a goal, or a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. Thanks so much for posting this!

  • Anna Shorey September 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I have a question. After a c-section where the idiot doc cut me from belly button down I ended up with a hernia that followed the path of the scar. The hernia has been fixed, but I still get a “pooch” when I do a crunch on the floor (this doesn’t happen standing). Can I still do the workout you show here?

  • Janet B September 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I just checked myself, and, due to belly fat I guess, or maybe totally pathetic muscles as well, I couldn’t even find my muscles! LOL I lay on the floor laughing. So, I’ve had 5 c-sections and wonder if it would be wise to start with the diastasis exercises, just to be on the safe side?

  • Sheila September 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I thought I had it worse than I do. I can barely fit two… maybe only 1.5 But I have done several rounds of Insanity which does a lot of plank but NO crunches! So maybe it has helped me more than I thought! These look good though. I will probably try to work them into my routine! thanks!

  • Star September 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I actually went to PT fore several weeks post partum. I was taught most of these exercises, and closed my gap for 3 fingers to about 1.5 fingers. I can’t seem to get any better than that and still have a lot of “extra” skin around my belly button that I can’t tighten up either. Would love to be little tighter still.

  • TAMMY September 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    WOW! I hae been looking for something like this for years! My “babies” are 25 & 21…and my first child was an emergency-thus the vertical incision! ….I workout, do crunches, etc and am in pretty good shape but could never get my belly to cooperate! I will definitely give this a try!!

  • Amy September 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Great article! I’m pretty sure I have this, although I haven’t done the finger test (Guess what I’ll be doing right after I write this comment?). I have twins. They’re now 5. And although I’ve lost my baby weight and then some, I cannot for the life of me get rid of my belly. I already do the upright push ups for a shoulder injury, so good to know that should also help my belly. Thanks for sharing the specific exercises for this! I’d never heard of the medical term for it before, very interesting stuff!

  • Tara September 25, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Thank you soo much for this info! My twins are 8 and I still am having issues from the section. This is such an emotional topic for me, I’m not sure why but I really really appreciate you putting this out here for us! I found your article on Pinterest, BTW! I also Pinned it! Keep up your good work!

    • inspiredrd September 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

      Tara, I understand why this can be an emotional topic. So glad I am able to help you get some insight into this. Make sure to read the updated post too!

  • Kellie September 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for all of the info! I am also suffering from a diastasis and am very emotional and stressed about it. I had my two children via c-section only 18 months apart. Despite being a fellow RD, I gained 70 pounds with each pregnancy and both of my children were both very large, macrosomia babies at 9#,11 oz and 10#, 6 oz, leaving my stomach a total wreck. (And no, I am not diabetic!) My NP told me that surgery is really the only way to heal it, but I’m really hoping that’s not the case. Looking forward to trying these exercises and praying for good results!

  • Laura September 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Wow! I’m so glad I happened upon your blog! I have had 2 c sections with the first one being twins. My youngest baby is almost 2 now and I have not been able to get rid of my belly- but I’ve lost all the other baby weight. I have been doing abdominal exercises for a year now with NO change in my abdomen! It’s been so frustrating and I can totally relate to the “distended belly after eating” thing! I look like I’m four months pregnant after dinner! I just checked and my gap is two fingers wide. Thanks for posting this!

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  • Tisha September 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I will definitely be doing this with you!! Thank you so, so much for posting this. I wasn’t sure what it was but knew that had to do with having my child and the c-section. Thank you!!

  • Cindy September 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve had three kids the last one 19 years ago, if I do these exercises will it help? I can fit 2 fingers.

    • inspiredrd September 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      From what I’ve learned, it’s never too late to fix a diastasis. Get to work! 🙂

  • dee September 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I can’t tell if I have this separation or not. I’m not good at figuring these things out. I think I can feel the muscles right at my belly button. I carried HUGE with my son. Do you think it is still possible I didn’t get the separation in the first place?

  • Steph September 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for the blog!!! However, I’m early in my first trimester with my second. Would you recommend doing these exercises?

    • inspiredrd October 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Steph, I’m not sure about the specifics of doing these exercises while pregnant. I would defer to Julie Tupler on that (I know she teaches her exercises during pregnancy).

  • angel September 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    it’s never too late to fix this. I would recommend seeing a women’s health PT in case you have other postural alignment problems that will delay the diastasis from closing or could potentially make it worse.

  • Annie October 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    So glad I found this! I was JUST talking about this with my sister the other day and she had no clue what I was talking about, I was beginning to think I was crazy for having this big valley in the middle of my stomach every since birth! Thanks!

  • abby October 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Wow I’ve heard of this but never knew how to tell if I had it or not. So I have about a one finger gag. Does that count or not, what type of exercise should I do?

  • simone jahrling October 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    my space is about i finger width..what does that mean?About 9 yrs ago I competed in a fitness competition and had a six pack then. my fitness level is not the same and i dont have the abdominal strength i did then. i had three deliveries but no c section.

  • Christine Maynard October 10, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Hi there!! Thanks so much for having a blog about this!! I recently, on Friday of last week, was tired of hearing about how my diet is the cause of not having abs! Well, I did some research, which was very difficult to find, but I found the reason to my current state of abs…diastasis recti. Yes…I have a large gap between my muscles! I knew it was something to do with having kids, but was uncertain because no DR ever told me this was going to happen!
    While working out this past year, I looked for support in a workout community and even followed personal trainers. All they post are how much abs are made in the kitchen, I was even told this a few times from a few people. The thing I did not get is….I’ve lost so much weight and I’ve been eating great and exercising almost everyday. My journey is successful, EXCEPT my abs! To which I seeked out help from other moms and personal trainers. I never spoke about this to my Ob/gyn, but I did bring up that I was trying to get my stomach back, but she never said a thing. And if I were to completely listen to everyone about how abs are made in the kitchen, I could have very easily become anorexic! I honestly, was going NUTS trying to figure out why my abs are looking like mush when the rest of my body looks like muscle! FRUSTRATING.

    Today, I’m looking at my exercise so much differently! I’m going back to enjoying my workouts! I’m going back to loving the person I am inside and out. I’m going to see my results instead of seeing my faults. I am no longer going to kill myself to workout! No one should make me feel inadequate. If someone is not there to support me…I will NOT listen to them. It is completely important that we have a support system.

    Thanks for you post!! And please LOVE YOURSELF and BE KIND to the mom that you are and this goes to all moms going through this right now!!

    Question: Its been 5.5 years since my last child. I’ve had 2 back to back and both C-sections. Both boys were over 9lbs. Can I still work on getting my abs in shape with the exercises you have listed above even though its been 5.5 years since my last??

    • inspiredrd October 11, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Thank you so much for your comment. It’s never too late to heal the gap!

  • Luisa October 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I also had two over 9 lbs. babies, both c-sections. My oldest is almost 13 and youngest 9. I’ve been very active over the past 5 years but find that my abs are always weak and that gap always there! Do you think that, if I do your exercises, I can get the muscle back again even after 13 years?

    • inspiredrd October 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

      From what the experts say, if you do the exercises regularly and are committed to them, it is never too late to close the gap.

  • Janis October 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    My youngest turns 21 in a few weeks. I have yet to be able to flatten my tummy. I am very happy with everything else except that. I am going to print this off, take it to the gym and make it part of my routine. And yes, 1 c-section and a hysterectomy my muscle memory is kaputz!! I have great upper abs but belly button down is like another person. And I do have the separation based on your test. Now this makes so much sense. Thanks and I start tomorrow!!!

  • Jillian October 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    OMG I’ve had two sections and no one has ever mentioned this to me. I’ve just done your test and I can fit 3 fingers!! I get the “are you pregnant” question too and am having lots of problems losing the “mummy tummy”. Your exercise list is now on my daily to-do list. You may be my hero.

  • Tina October 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Wow thank you so much for the great information . I knew I had to have this before I even laid down to check. As soon as I eat especially breads my stomach pouches right out. I’ve had 2 c-sections yrs ago 1 baby was 9 lbs & the other 10. Why wouldn’t either of my Dr’s bring this to my attention ? Thanks for the great info, definitely going to try these exercises.

  • Andrea October 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you so much for this info. I’ve had two c-sections and after the first one my stomach would never go back down. I can put three fingers and it just breaks my heart. I have always been naturally thin and to have this poking belly really gets to me. I will be starting this exercises very shortly. Is twice a day to much? Morning and Night

  • Amber November 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for this post! I found it on Pinterest. And everything you said is exactly me! I’ve had 4 c-sections in 5 years. I am a tiny person. Only 5’3 and 103 pds. I killed myself this summer working out and yet…always looked prego after I ate any food! It is has been so frustrating! I hated that when I did crunches it looked like the Grand Canyon between my abs. I can fit 3 fingers wide and 4+ fingers length ways. I will for sure be trying these excersises. So happy there is hope! I thought I would just have to get plastic surgery to fix it. Do you know how long it takes to start seeing results and about how long for them to heal? Just wondering how long I do these excersises for before going back to other an excersises.


  • Denise November 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Do you know anything about this in children? I think my daughter, who is 6, has this. She had an umbilical hernia, which seems to have corrected itself, but she is very thin and when I see her flex her stomach muscles in any way, it seems there is a separation. Her dr. only checed for umbilical hernia, but didn’t mentin dastasis. Do you have any recommendations?

    • inspiredrd November 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Denise, I don’t really know how this affects children. I would suggest calling your doctor for a follow up.

  • Brandy November 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I only have one child and I didn’t have a C-section but no matter how hard I have tried I can’t seem to get rid of the pooch at the bottom of my abs 🙁 I have tried everything…running, crunches, pilates, yoga…but nothing seemed to work. I am willing to try anything!!!

  • Kristen November 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been struggling with this issue for awhile (my 3rd daughter was born 2-1/2 years ago). I have worked with a trainer 2 different times, and both times was told that they could definitely help me. One even said that it was probably water weight (yeah right).

    I have one question though: I can fit 3 fingers and I’m worried I haven’t acted fast enough. Can these exercises still help after 2-1/2 years?

    • inspiredrd November 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      The two experts I talked to disagreed on a few things, but they were both adamant that it’s never too late to fix a diastasis!

  • Shay November 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I am both shocked (to know this can be corrected), and so excited to begin!! My twins are almost 18, and my daughter is almost 10. My muscles have been like this for what seems like forever!! I’m at almost 3 fingers 🙁

    Prior to becoming preggers with my twins, I was 102 pounds, with a 24 inch waist. I didn’t gain much weight during my pregnancy, but my body really took a beating in terms of my muscles stretching out (42 inch waist at 34 weeks). My core has always been my weakest spot, and then my back, of course. I found that I really couldn’t strengthen one without the other…

    Totally stoked about these exercises! Thanks a million!! 🙂

  • Jennifer November 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hello there, wondering if there is a difference between an emergency c-section and a planned c-section? I had 2 emergency csections and was cut both times up and down rather than straight across like most csections are done….thanks

  • Michelle November 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Thank you so much for this! I had never heard of this until today, and have wondered for YEARS why on earth my abs never seem to flatten even when I faithfully work on them for weeks. If anything, I seem to get thicker around the middle, even though I have lost 15 pounds and kept them off, and it has been so frustrating!
    I have had 5 c-sections, the last one being almost 3 years ago. Just did the check for this and could fit 2 fingers in the gully.
    Thank you for this knowledge! I am hopeful that it will be the key to finally stop looking pregnant. 🙂

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  • Mary November 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I had 6 c sections. The first 5 within 6 yrs. my last one 14 yrs later. I have no muscle strength and look forward to trying these exercises out! My babies were also 8 to 10 lbs. I hope this works!

  • C3Ci November 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    OMG.. I’ve had 3 kids., all c section & I can’t sat anything without my stomach popping out!! Feels like I have a bouncing ball in my stomach. My doctor did tell me to workout in my core. But I don’t know what to do. I’m just trying to lose more weight!!

  • Puffsplus November 28, 2012 at 6:17 am

    oh my gosh…my son is 8 and I gave up exercising because it seemed like such a waste of time, the poochy belly never budges, I had never heard of this…is it too late ? 8 years is a long time!

  • jenny richins December 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    i just found this link on pinterest. thank you for posting about this. i have had 6 pregnancies, and my abs have seperated. i too have been told that i will have to get my abs surgically fixed to heal this problem. i would like to continue doing your workout you posted to see how much it can help me. i just did the first wo exercises and my back is very sore ad tired, so weak!. thanks again.

  • Kate December 20, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I had a very severe case of diastasis after the birth of my second child (no prob with the first although had c-sections with both). I worked out intensely from approx. 9 months post delivery of baby #2 for 1.5 years, 4 times per week doing hard core circuit training and conditioning and core work. While I saw amazing results for the rest of my body (best shape I’ve EVER been in my life!) the diastasis did not improve at all. Upon meeting with my physician and consulting with two different surgeons, they confirmed that for a severe case, the only true way to completely eliminate diastasis is through surgery. My gap was approx. 3-4 inches wide and 4-5 fingers long – almost from the bottom of my rib cage to below my belly button. I am a naturally thin, petite person (5′ 4″, 115 lbs) and both my kids were almost 9 pounds at birth. Because the surgery is not deemed “medically necessary” (don’t get me started on this!), almost no insurance companies will cover it since the surgery is primarily done by plastic surgeons. However, mine was severe enough that my insurance approved it as a muscle repair procedure and the entire thing was covered by our insurance! It was a tough recovery for the first 2 weeks following the surgery (they also discovered I had 3 hernias once they got in there to do the repair), but I am SO happy with the results and would do it again in a heart beat. It is not for everyone, and I’m not saying this is the only way. If you don’t have a severe case, then doing exercises may improve or fix the problem. But if it’s something that REALLY bothers you or is causing other physical injuries because of a weakened core, I highly recommend researching it with your surgeon and insurance company. If you are considering surgery to fix the problem, I would also recommend getting into good physical shape before. Your body will heal so much quicker and bounce back so much easier if you are in good physical condition. I was back doing my rigerous workouts at 7 weeks post-op and I credit that to the awesome condition I was in physically prior to the surgery (minus the intense ab work, I am giving myself a 3 month break just as a precaution). I wish nothing but the best of luck to all of the moms out there trying to close the gap… it is a frustrating condition that does not get talked about enough. Thanks for having such a great dialogue on this topic and encouraging and inspiring so many people to take action!

    • Lisa January 1, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Hi Kate, I was wondering if they repaired your diastasis with mesh or stitches and if you had loose skin after?

    • Lindsey February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

      i’m surprised and inspired that you found a way to have this covered by insurance! my separation is quite sever…i can fit 8 fingers almost nine across practically the entire stomach down and that’s no exaggeration. my dr. had the nerve to tell me just to do crunches. i’m glad to hear that someone HAS managed to get insurance to cover a surgical repair. i guess i need to keep looking for a doctor who will listen.

      • Mom of 3 June 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        I had bad separation. 2 inches apart and ripped completely from top of abs to bottom, I also had an umbilical hernia. I over exercised and probably made it worst with all the crunches. I’m an avid runner and on long runs the pain was almost unbearable. After 6 months if debating I had combined hernia and muscle repair surgery (tummy tuck). It is a very hard surgery the first couple if weeks but in my opinion so worth it. There is only so much the exercise can do. Especially with skin that is over stretched.

  • Meghan December 21, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Hello! I’m currently 13w prego – yay! I checked my abs last night and I can fit 1 finger (I think? It’s hard to feel b/c I’ve def developed a layer of fat over my abs with this morning sickness and eating whatever makes me not sick). Anywho, I was just wondering if you knew about wearing a splint after birth? One of my friends wore a gurdle and swears by it? Also, what are some exercises you could do during pregnancy to help your inner core and transverse abdominals? I’ve been doing the Knocked Up Fitness DVDS and really like them! Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • Meghan December 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

      I thought I’d add that I’m also an RD 🙂

  • Kim December 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I’m 52 will this still help me. I can fit 4 finger. I’m not 5′ 2″ and not very big framed and my kids were 10 lbs. when born.

  • Courtney December 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I am so happy to find this! My midwife told me about this “problem” after I had my baby boy last fall (2011) and I’ve been struggling to fix it. I just thought I needed to do more crunches and sit-ups, but apparently not! Just checked and it’s about 1- 1.5 fingers. My question is… I am 6 weeks pregnant, is it still safe to do these exercises? I am really wanting/trying to stay as fit as possible during this pregnancy. Thanks!

  • Rachelle December 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Wow, I am so happy I found this! I too like many other moms out there have given up on exercise because the “pooch” never seemed to go away. I have had 2 c-sections, my last one being about 9 months ago. My mom had 3 c-sections as well, so as soon and I started reading this I called her and told her about it! Thank you so much for putting this information out there, I had no idea of such a thing! I am going to get started on these right away and hopefully by summer time I can at least start to see a difference! Thanks again! 🙂

  • Kylee December 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I was so excited to come across this! I just gave birth to my second child who was over nine pounds. I am a small build and carry all the baby out front and very low, I never really got back into shape after my first pregnancy so having a second one and carrying such a large baby really did a number on me! After delivery I noticed a large bump above my belly button so I went to my doctor who told me I had severe diastasis and what seemed to be a hernia. After a visit with a general surgeon and a CT scan, it was confirmed that my diastasis was a result of the 9 pounder, and the hernia as well. They can’t operate on it now it I want to have any more kids, and I do, so I was just told it would all get worse with each pregnancy and that diastasis is very hard to fix on your own and without a tummy tuck! I have always been a thin person so feeling this way now feels like a death sentence. Especially because I have never had to work out to keep my figure, now I don’t know how to find the time and motivation, especially when I feel like no matter how hard I work out I will still look pregnant. I totally know what you mean when you say after you eat you have nothing to hold in your gut. In the morning when I’m starving I look someone who just gave birth, but as soon as I put anything in my mouth, the rest of the day I am looking about five to six months pregnant, and I can’t hold it in. Its very depressing I must say, not to mention the huge sore bump on my tummy. But I am so excited to try these exercises! Doing regular crunches felt like I was just straining myself and that I wasn’t even working out the areas that needed it! So I’m really hoping this will be the answer, thanks so much for sharing! Also, I wondered if you know anything about henias and working out, like if working out your stomach might worsen the problem, or what? Another thing, any tips on what to eat as a breastfeeding mother who is trying to loose weight? I feel like I can’t diet because if I don’t eat enough I don’t make enough milk, but eating like I used to is getting me no where. I can’t seem to find a diet that will feed the baby, and help me loose. After I had my first, the pounds just fell off with nursing, this time, I can’t seem to loose a single one! Sorry for writing you a novel, I just really need some good advice, and you seem to know a lot. Thanks again!!

    • Catherine December 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Kylee, you just produced a person! Pat yourself on the back! I nursed 4 babes and found that I could eat normally and drink plenty and feed the baby. I also found that in the 6-12 month time frame that weight fell off. No diet. You produce and give to baby maybe 64 oz of milk per day. That’s amazing and, again, you are producing and sustaining a person’s life. Your body can only do so much before it raises the white flag. One thing at a time and best of luck! You are amazing!

      • Lisa December 31, 2012 at 9:41 am

        Kylee! Congratulations- you’ve done an awesome job! I understand your desire to get that body whipped back into shape, it WILL happen but first things first friend. Eat, drink, feed, walk, and dance with that sweet baby. Hang in there, you’re beautiful.

    • Lois March 13, 2013 at 1:04 am

      Have your doctor check your thyroid and iodine levels. Not saying this is the problem, but it could be contributing. Also read Iodine and Why You Need It by Dr. David Brownstien it is very, very informative. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

  • Crystal Custer December 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I am so thankful I found this on Pinterest!! I have had three kids, two were born naturally but my third was taken via C-Section. I knew after my second child that my abdomen was not normal as far as my muscles were concerned. I could lay down and tighten my stomach muscles and feel a huge gap. I have talked to so many different trainers and they just suggested crunches and a lot of them. I could do all the crunches in the world and it never helped!!

    I just checked for diastasis and I could fit 3 fingers in the gap!! Thank you so much for offering these workouts, I was starting to give up on figuring something out, but also thank you for bringing this issue up to a lot of people!!!!

  • Erika Dominguez December 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I’m glad I found this. I well definitely be doing these to help get my core strength back! Still have to do crunches though, have to fitness test every year for the military. :/

  • Tiffany December 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I have this too. I knew that my 2 c-sections did have something to do with my pooch. I am so glad that it is real and that it has a name and that I can actually do something about it too help.

  • Catherine December 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I,also, am so glad to find this! I’ve known about my diastasis and have found success with a Pilates DVD – but I don’t do it that much. I will definitely do these and again am grateful for your post and for all of the comments. I had 4 babies, no c-sections, but carried them all right out front. I’m excited about pulling it all back together!

  • Randee December 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I have been looking for this type of information for soo long! I have been aware of having this stomach issue since baby # 3 and baby # 4 turned out to be a cesarean. I can almost put three fingers in that space 🙁 I look forward to learning how to actually heal this! Thanks again, it is exciting to find hope! (My goal is realistic, I look for improvements or what my body can do)

  • Becca December 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    This was really interesting. I have had 2 c-sections but have lost almost 75 lbs. I have done Jazzercise for about 2.5 years now since having those c-sections and I started with 0 abdominal strength. Pretty sure I would have had a diastasis. I’m happy to report that although I still have a ways to go with fat around my mid-section, much of it has disappeared and the gap between those muscles is only 1 finger wide. 🙂

  • Fiona McGuire December 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

    As a physical therapist I can tell you that diastatis of the recites abdominus has nothing what so ever to do with having a c-section. The fibrous connection in the middle of the muscles is designed to stretch and tear if necessary to allow the abdomin to expand to accommodate the growing foetus. It is a normal side effort of pregnancy that many women experience. Please be careful that you get information from properly qualified people.

    • inspiredrd December 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

      I understand that it’s a natural side effect of some pregnancies. But in my experience, moms with c-sections have a much higher percentage of having diastasis (almost all).

  • Sara December 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I am currently recovering from diastasis repair. If you feel ripping or that the gully is rather large please consult a plastic surgeon! My gully was 5 inches once the surgeon cut me open.

  • Wendy December 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I wanted to thank you for posting this. I’ve had 3 c-sections and could feel my muscles tearing when I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. I’ve gone to multiple doctors, notcing it got worse when I worked out and never gained any ground on finding out what was wrong. I knew I had a seperation in the muscles but no one could tell me how to fix it or if it was even possible without cosmetic surgery. I’m very motivated to try these exercises, my gap is huge and obvious without flexing. When I had a pregnancy induced umbilical hernia repaired, the doctor said my abdominal muscles were like swiss cheese, slapped a patch in there and sent me on my way. Thank you so much for this, I’m looking forward to banishing my perma-pooch!

  • Shannon December 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I never knew about this at all until I came across it on pinterest…I am definitely going to be doing these, because I hate my tummy pooch and I couldn’t figure out why it never went away! Thank you!

  • Fiona McGuire December 31, 2012 at 3:34 am

    And your medical qualifications are? Rectus abdominus diastasis is not due to c-sections. You are giving out incorrect information.

    • inspiredrd December 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Ok, I’ll change the wording then.

      In my experience as a personal trainer working with hundreds of moms, MY experience is that moms with c-sections have a much higher percentage of diastasis.

  • Cooking, Leaping, Struggling and Thanking: A look back at 2012 December 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    […] In June, I decided to finally take the leap of being myself around you, and you completely embraced me for it.  Thank you.  I introduced you to my good friend Angel, and I posted what turned out to be my most popular post ever about healing the mommy tummy. […]

  • Corry December 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I was wondering if there is any sort of gap in a person that doesn’t have diastasis. I had a baby 3 years ago and I have a bit of a gap, maybe 1 finger. Is that normal or do I have diastasis?

  • Kat N December 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I am SO happy I saw this. I had my third baby almost 6 months ago and received a yoga DVD and gym passes for Christmas. thanks to you I also discovered a 2.5 finger gap. I now know what to focus on (and avoid), and see why previous attempts to flatten my stomach have failed!

  • athena December 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Did not know this!!! I had two babies 11 months apart both c-sections and i waa just thinking that there was no way sit-ups were going to work for me. Glad i found this!!

  • Kristen January 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I have had two children that were 9.5lbs and 10.5lbs and two csections (and an abdominal surgery for a ruptured ectopic) and I know I have this and just haven’t done anything about it (and I am a doula, I should know better). I am tired of back pain in between chiro appointments and am planning to take better care of my health in 2013, so count me in!

  • Allison January 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I tested myself using the directions that you gave here on the website and I have it bad (i think). Is it possible for one side to be worse than the other? If so, my left side is like hanging almost all the way to the lateral side of my abdomen. I have had 2 c-sections, one was 4 years ago and the other was 15 months ago. I had to have both because I was eclampsic in both pregnancies. I had also found out about 8 weeks after I injured my left hip in December 2010 that I was pregnant with my second baby child. I ended up being on worker’s compensation for about a year and a half during my pregnancy, left hip surgery, and rehabilitative PT. I am definitely going to try these exercises and see if they make a difference. I have had such horrible back pain ever since I was pregnant, which I expected during my pregnancy, but not to continue over a year later. Thanks for the help and the information!!

  • Deb January 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I have had 3 c-sections – the last at 39 with twins, 7-pounds each. When I try to use my abs I get this freakish “peak” in the middle of my upper tummy. Does that sound like what you are talking about? I figure that if it poke out like that when I do the crunch that it isn’t going to train the muscles to stay in. I am going to try these – but I was wondering if any of you have the “pyramid” in the middle of your stomach when you contract your stomach muscles?

  • Rowena January 4, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Hi there,

    I have had five kids one set Being twins all babies were quite big and I am only tiny. I suffered with this after all pregnancies, after the last pregnancy which was 4 years ago then it was measuring around 3 and a half finger spaces. I have being doing these exercises on and off for about a year and it is now measuring around 2/1 and half. It does work and it needs a lot of commitment. Not a lot of midwives or doctors tell you about the exercise. It took a retired physio therapist to tell me about the exercises. I think this is a real shame and that these exercises should be made readily available as part of postnatal checks.

    Many thanks for posting this,

  • Lindsey January 4, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I had emergency surgery on my abdominal wall. I can’t tell weather it’s a gap or my scar.

  • Randi January 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I just found this and it’s great! But, I checked myself and I feel like my gap is only like 1.5 fingers, not too big. Should I still do these exercises for a little bit and try to tighten that up? I’m surprised my gap isn’t much bigger considering my two c-sections and one with a 9.5 lb. baby in there!

  • Wendy January 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    So glad I found this website through Pinterest! Thanks for posting about diastasis recti. I wish there was more information about it out there! I too struggle with a tummy pooch after 2-large-baby-pregnancies, and had the stomach pooch even though I was fit. I knew there had to be something ‘wrong.’ I struggled to find answers and there was very little research out there. Finally, I came across the Mutu and Tupler websites- both similar techniques on dealing with diastasis recti through physical therapy/exercises. This was 11 months ago– last February. I started a blog documenting the Tupler exercises I did and took lots of pictures. The before and after results were INCREDIBLE! Since then my blog has become a documenting spot for triathlons I compete in, so disregard those posts, but if anyone is interested in seeing before and after pictures of Tupler Technique healing your diastasis recti, you can follow this link: The exercises are super easy- I could do them literally while driving a car!

  • Lisa January 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I am so glad I came across this on pinterest!! I to have had two c- sections, and have the two finger space between… My Dr said to do the core exercises but nothing seemed to be helping… Thank-you so much for the information and the exercises, I will be starting them tonight!!!!!!

  • CC January 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Is there any way to do these without the stability ball? Or replacing it with something else? Thanks!

  • Kara January 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Three c-sections, last one 7yrs ago. I just did this little test, 3 fingers, I never could understand why all my working out, the pouch wouldn’t go away! Years of doing the wrong thing! Going to give these new exercises a shot. Wow! What a eye opener! Thank you!

  • Beth January 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    What if I don’t have it and I want to do this excersizes? I THINK I might have it. I did the test and it felt like a small gully in between my muscles. Hope I can get some results.

  • Diana January 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you for the workout tips. I usually do crunches and was wondering why it was it working. Because my youngest son will be 20 months and I still have a gap. It feels so weird too. Once again thank you.

  • Sam January 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I have known that I had this from my 2 pregnancies, the second one worsening it…I just don’t do abdominal excercises at all because I could tell it was making it worse. I never knew there was a way to fix it, I’m very excited to do these!!!! Thank you!!!

  • NicoleSmith January 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Count me in! I just found this on Pinterest (great timing with the start of the new year!). I’m definitely going to try these exercises and to set a schedule for them. Are you still doing them??

  • Lashawn January 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I have 4 kids and never knew about this I would love to get back into a bathing suit wo looking preg. Lol

  • Shell January 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Those muscles protect your organs. If this happened to a man you can bet insurance would cover the surgery that is required to repair it. You can worked you butt off (I did) and not have one second of improvement. This also if your not careful can cause serious back issues (happen with me). I gave in and had Bernadette Wang perform a tummy tuck 5 years ago. I have never regretted it. Only wish I had done it sooner to save my back. My muscles were 5 inches apart.. no exercise would have put that back together.

  • Emily Moore January 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I have never heard of this before… which is surprising considering I have had two C-sections. Did the check… 4 fingers space! I will be joining you in these exercises! Thanks for posting!

  • April January 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I have one child and I had this after he was born vaginally at 36 weeks. I asked my OB if it was safe to exercise and he just looked st me. Nine years later I still have a gap of about a finger’s width. I think I’ll give these a try. 🙂

  • rachel January 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I haven’t been able to figure out what is wrong with my stomach! My daughter is turning 1 in a few weeks and I still look 8 months pregant. I had a CT scan and ultrasound done to make sure they didn’t leave anything inside of me! It sounds like this is what is going on. I have done numerous crunches/ab workouts and nothing helps! Starting today!

  • Ally January 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I saw this on Pinterest and was totally amazed! After having two c-sections and being a runner I was like okay why’s this pooch not gone! I did the test and it was kind of gross and cool at the same time. But I could fit about 1-1/2 fingers. I am petite and have a small frame so this pooch has got to go! So I will be totally doing this. Thank you so much for this article. ,

  • Desiree Tatro January 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I have done this after each pregnancy. three C sections and never got more then 2 fingers. Odd. All my c sections have been in the last 4 years and I gained 70 lbs with just my first child alone. But I have this awful pooch. ugh. Im trying. Baby #3 is almost 4 months old, Im ready to try to beat the bulge.

  • Analla January 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I am a PTA and like you, was aware of this condition years before I had my kids. I had shared this information with others, but did not apply it to myself. Did a quick check and sure enough, there it is! Now wonder my core has been so weak and sore between chasing kids and lots of lifting at work. I am now currently trying to get pregnant with my third child. After a visit to my doctor and discovering my hormones are “all wacked out”, I am beginning a healthier life style with hormone supplements, improved diet and exercise. These exercises are definitely going on my list! Maybe I can improve this problem before number three comes along! Thanks for the reminder, good information and well put together!

  • CharLynn January 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve had two c-sections and one was twins. I checked and I do have this. I am starting these exercises today! Thanks again!

    • inspiredrd January 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      So glad it helped!

  • Robbie January 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for this. A surgeon I consulted on a tummy tuck procedure after losing 130 pounds mentioned that nylon stitches were the only way to correct it. But I’m going to try your exercises and see if that helps before I go for something so invasive.

  • April January 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I had that. Was diagnosed spring last year. Probably had it after my first pregnancy and didn’t know it and then made it worse with my second pregnancy. I ended up having surgery to repair it. It was really bad. I also had an umbilical hernia as well at the time so my surgery was to fix both problems at the same time. I am guessing it won’t happen with future pregnancies since I have a big mesh covering holding my abs together. But in case it does I know what to do now.

  • Jennifer Williamson January 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I have this also. I have had 2 c-sections. My first one in 2000 and last one in 2006. Has it been too long for me to get it back? When I lie down and tighten my ab muscles it looks like a big mountain down the middle of my stomach. My stomach is so much bigger than it was before I had kids. And I am down to pre baby weight. It’s so ugly and embarrasing.

  • jessica January 14, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I had diastisis recti with my first pregnancy. Here I am merely 8 months into motherhood and I find myself pregnant with baby #2! I never had much of a chance to heal and build back my strength. Can you do these exercises while pregnant?

    • Stacey January 19, 2013 at 12:32 am

      Hi! I’m having the exact problem!! My first baby is 10 months old and I am trying for another baby at the moment. I still have a 2 finger gap in the middle..I was seeing a physiotherapist for about 8 months and they have me exercises to do. The gap was about 8 fingers at first and now only 2. I just can’t get it any smaller!! I can feel my organs popping out sometimes, it’s grose!! And my once innie belly button is an outtie! I feel uncomfortable to wear a bikini because of it!! I want to know…if I get pregnant again with an already gap, will it be able to heal afterwards? And will it get worse?

  • Marisol January 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

    What most women don’t realize is after child birth you must wrap your belly and eat healthy. I failed to do with my first and during my 2nd I did pregnancy workouts which also works to maintain your abs “together” and I wrapped and ate healthy after birth. I workout regularly and wrap my stomach. It really helps, I asked many doctors and they all said wrapping your stomach is the best and if you want to, a body shaper that you wear under clothes helps to tighten up your muscles. I was so sad because I had so much extra skin and I dreaded having a tummy tuck but wrapping it helps. Keep in mind everybody is different, just don’t give up and workouts takes time to see results.

  • Kristen January 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I’m currently a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health (incontinence, postpartum, pelvic pain, etc). While these can be a great starting point, or even being aware can be a great starting point, I highly recommend talking with your physician for a women’s health PT referral in your area. They can help you with very specific exercises for your body and help prevent problems down the line. -Kristen

  • Shannon January 15, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I can’t believe this! I just recently found out that I have an umbilical hernia, which I have had for 3+ years, throughout 2 of 4 pregnancies and c-sections. I did not realize that I had separated abs, until I researched on the web. I feel as though I have probably ruined all chances of fixing my abs with exercise, due to the fact that I had 4 pregnancies in 5 1/2 years, and have been doing crunches throughout. And the hernia isn’t helping. The doctor says I should strengthen my core, but had no idea that my abs are separated, but aware of the hernia! What do I do? Any ideas…,anyone???

  • Emily January 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I am dealing with this daily.I actually do the above exercises, have for a long time.I can still fit three fingers inbetween my abdominals. I am now thinking about baby # 2. My worry….. is it going to get worse?!

  • Roni January 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I am definitely starting this. I have had 9 Babies. My core is super weak. Even though I exercise and have reached lbs, still can’t lose tummy. I checked and I so have this. Thank you, thank you.

  • Brandi January 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Its been 9 years since I had my last baby and I’ve never heard of this, wish I had. Seems I have about 1.5 or 2 fingers between, its kind of hard for me to tell because I have excess skin around my belly from having babies =/

  • Ashley January 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I never knew about this! I just checked…I don’t even have a fingers width. Should someone still start off with exercises like these anyway, or is it okay to do other core workouts? I am trying for baby number two currently..should I be holding off on the regular core and do these instead? (hahaha..sorry for all the questions!)
    Thanks and good luck!!

  • Martina January 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I have had two children, a c section and an umbilical Hermia surgery with mesh insert I now have more hernias around the mesh. Can I still do these exercises and will they be effective in my situation?

  • Amy January 19, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m very short, so my belly has had little vertical space to use for my 2 pregnancies– instead it has gone out in front of me, pushing my abs aside and leaving me with a 3.5 finger gap post partum. I’ve known about my gap since shortly after my first child’s birth, but have been unable to find guidance about what exercises, if any, could help me. I will start these today!

  • Nicole January 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I am pretty sure I have this. I will be going home and doing the test. I’ve had 4 c-sections and I am a champion at sucking in.

  • tanya January 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Thanks so much for this. I was wondering why I would do abdominal exercises and my stomach looked larger then when I did not do them. I will have to do your exercises and see how that works.

  • Christine January 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Do these exercises work even if you do not have the gap? My belly is way bigger than it ever was (after 2 kids) and crunches just hurt my neck and back. My jeans fit my legs, but my waist makes them uncomfortable. I

  • Damn That Diastasis | Too Hottie For That Body January 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    […] was a lot of abdominal work to be done and during my pregnancy I had acquired quite the diastasis, which means my muscles split apart and when I do sit-ups and my guts pop through like a hernia. […]

  • Cassie January 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    This is so helpful. I noticed the gap early on and I also noticed that the only time I have a “pooch” is after eating. I was thinking I needed to diet even though I’ve been at my pre-pregnancy weight since 3 weeks postpartum. My only question is how long will it take to see results?

  • Jessica January 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Wow! This is very timely! I have a 5, 3, and 1.5 year old, all csections. After my first two babies, my belly went back quickly. # 3 has been a different story-It’s been almost 2 years since I had him, I do some sort of ab exercise every day, and still have a small “preggo belly”. It’s horrible. About 3 weeks ago, I discovered that I had this huge (3 fingers) gap between my abs and I thought it was so strange. So I started doing more sit-ups 😉 Thank you so much for this! I will be doing these exercises! (I found you via pinterest!)

  • Kate January 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. Nothing seems to be helping the hole in my tummy so it is beyond frustrating! I will definitely try these because after having two babies close to each other with the second almost being 10lbs I have a huge gap in my tummy and seems to be getting worse. I have always been a little gal and just want my tummy to be hard again!

  • Wendy Powell January 22, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Hi everyone, Alysa contacted me to ask if I could answer your questions – the answer is yes I can, but there are quite a few of them!! So… we thought it would be a good idea to do an interview which we’ll get done as soon as possible. In the meantime I’m going to send you to some articles on my website. By way of introduction, I am the founder of MuTu System – a proven system that puts moms’ middles back where they’re supposed to be + restores body confidence inside + out… which of includes dealing with diastasis (as well as weak core muscles, pelvic floor issues, hernia… + other such fun stuff! ;)) So do head on over + have a read – + Alysa + I will fix up that interview as soon as we can 🙂
    The Basics
    Video testimonial from one of my MuTu Mamas + more info on what works + what doesn’t
    Video of how to test yourself
    See you soon!

  • Wendy Powell January 22, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Sorry Alysa – the second link (video testimonial + lots of info) should be this one

  • Anita January 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Just checked this morning and yep! got this too. Sincere thanks for the exercises! 🙂

  • raina January 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

    i have had two kids both by c section i have just started zumba and i will add these to my work out thatnk you so much i never know what to do bout this problem

  • Michelle January 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you Alysa for posting this….like most of the others I am fairly petite, but after 5 pregnancies (3 C-sections) I look like I am still pregnant 2 years after my last pregnancy! I will definitely try these excercises. 🙂

  • megan h January 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    So i have this but only 1 finger maybe a finger and ahalf. Is it ok to do crunches amd situps with a small amount i do have lower back pain alot!!

  • Amy January 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Soooo, what if it is only one finger? Does that mean I only have a minor case of it or you only have it if it is 2 fingers or more? Just not sure if I should worry about it if it’s only one finger wide?

  • Stephanie J Martin January 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I am 24 and have never had children. But I have had an umbilical hernia for about 5 years now. I have tried off and on to make my core stronger but I think I may have what you are talking about…is that possible? And are these exercises appropriate for umbilical hernias? (diagnosed by doctor but not in need of surgical repair at this time-for the reason that I havent had children yet)

  • Cassie January 25, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Thank you for being on Pinterest! When I finally figured out what what wrong with my stomach I did internet research(of course!) and only found one site. I didn’t want to pay for anything that I could not actually verify so I stopped looking eventually. Its great that the exercises are now available to everyone! I also want to say thank you forhelping make that happen! I asked my doctor(s) repeatedly what was wrong with my stomach after Both pregnancies and Never did I receive an answer at all! They all said it was normal. I have At Least a 4 finger width gap in my muscles right now( I am Not pressing to see if it is actually larger, it freaks me out!).. My stomach is weak, and hurts if it is bumped, hit or whatever(you know, life with kids lol) Both of my children were huge. #1 was(1 week late) 10lbs 14 ozs, #2 was(1 week early) 10lbs 7ozs. Both c-section deliveries(I wonder if perhaps the dr’s are shifting the muscles unintentionally, while extracting the baby. Maybe it pushes the muscle aside if they were already weakened. Or maybe it’s just that cutting them weakens them further. Research should be done in this area, it would help the self esteem of millions of women!) . I am only 5″4. Before pregnancy I was 130 lbs and possessed an hourglass figure. I have a mountain and a valley on my belly now. It is grotesque. I have Never felt so unattractive! I have a divot instead of a belly button, and barely that! I am saddened that Dr’s do not actually tell you anything about this. That surgery was the most widely available info I found to fix the issue. I also think it would be purposeless to get the surgery if we still wanted more children. So I thank you for this information, this chance of at least diminishing the 6-7 month pregnant looking belly I constantly walk around with. I am hopeful of good results! Thank you again!

    • Hannah May 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Did you have any luck? I can fit 4 fingers easily and freaked and didn’t want to try more!!! I just had my third and final child but have had the pooch ever since my first who is almost 7 🙁 I’m going to give this a try but wanted to see how it’s going for you since your seperation sounds about the same size as mine. I’m sick of looking pregnant!!!!

      • inspiredrd May 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        I’ve been having luck with the MuTu system! I decided to go with the MuTu program after this initial post. Check the follow-up posts for more info!

  • Tami Huber January 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Wow! This is definitely a problem for sooo many of us moms! I am a licensed Tupler Technique instructor and physical therapist. I have three daughters: 7, 4, and 14 mos, and have done this technique myself. I did it ALL the way through this third pregnancy and splinted during the pregnancy, and my abdominals looked normal after 2 weeks. I splinted and did the exercises 3x/day for 12 weeks following pregnancy and my abs looked better than pre-pregnancy. Now I do maintenance, I am careful about my posture, and bringing my belly button to the spine with exercise and transitional movements (sit to stand) and lifting. I avoid all-fours exercise (push-ups, planks ect) and crunches, v-sits, anything where your shoulders come off the ground or you have both legs raised off the ground.
    Check out for my story . You can heal ladies, empower yourself with the information – Tupler Technique – commit to the exercises. If you are not progressing, see if there is a licensee in your area (I am Baltimore , D.C. area) or email them to set up skype sessions.
    Good luck! Check out my blog for details of my journey, and what I do.

    And, yes many children have this, it most often closes on its own, around age 4, 5 or 6, but can be difficult to close if they are doing things to open it (crunches, backbends ect.) Julie Tupler will soon have her video Belly Button Boogie available to help kids close theirs if need be.

  • Sandijo January 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Hello, my name is Sandijo and I have this problem, thank you so much for posting. I have had three children two were csections and one vaginal, but was severely obese. My stomach is always bulging out and i think that is where most of my weight is. I would like to loose ten more pounds to be in the healthy bmi range. I have lost a total of 70lbs. But cannot loose my stomach for the life of me. When I did the test I can actually put three fingers in that spot. I will be doing these exercises three times a week. How will I know if my abs have healed? Thank you again.

  • Kellie January 26, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I am so glad that my friend found this for me!! I have had four c-sections and thought it was my permanent “war” wound and it started to interfere with some of my wardrobe choices (and no not bikini’s) even some of the fashion jeans would show my bubble!! Thank you so much for sharing and I start today!

  • Kim smith January 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I just checked my “gully”. after three babies I am at a 2-3 finger gap. could this be a reason why I am having constant lower- back pain???

  • Lp Johnson January 30, 2013 at 10:47 am

    What a fantastic find this morning! Both the exercises and the information found here in the comments gave me the extra boost I needed as I start back with a regimen centered on strengthening my Core. I am definitely in! Great Post!

  • Lisa January 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I have been a persona trainer for about 15 years and pre and post natal training is my specialty. Most women don’t know about diastasis and unfortunately there are docs who don’t know about it too!! This isn’t limited to women, men can get it also!! When checking for diastasis, remember to check the entire length of the abdominal muscles. Some separations occur lower (requiring more pelvic tilt work) and others occur higher (requiring more head lifts). One thing the picture doesn’t show is how to brace your abdomen when doing the the head lift exercise (bracing can be done with pelvic tilts, too)…with your arms, reach your right arm across your body toward the left side and your left arm toward your right (arms are crossed over your midsection). Place your hands on the sides of your abdomen and and “push” your abdominal muscles back together as you perform the exercise. Remember to keep your belly button pulled in toward the spine. Another important thing to remember…don’t do any exercises that involve rotation as they incorporate the obliques and can make the separation worse.

    • Natalie Adams January 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Awesome! Thank you for the additional information!! I have a VERY small separation, or at least I think it is… It feels like about one finger wide, if that. going to start these tonight!

  • Rebecca M January 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I am so glad I found this pin on pinterest! I just delivered babies #4 & 5 & I didn’t have any problems bouncing back after the first 3. This time I felt like something wasn’t right with my stomach but I wasn’t sure what it was. After seeing this, I knew what it was & I plan to start this workout tomorrow! Thanks SO much for sharing!

  • Debra January 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Hi! I love your site! so glad I found it 🙂 I would like to know how many times a day I should do these exercises and about how long do u think it would them to heal back? my is 2.5 fingers 🙁 after 5 children and youngest is 4 yrs. Thanks once again for the wonderful info 🙂

  • Melissa February 1, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Is the gully a slight or very noticeable? I checked and it feels somewhat firm all the way across, but may feel a slight more firmness on one side? I have always have very strog abs and carried my children very internally and towards the back so I dont belieb there was as much strain forward. Thought my pelvis is still weak and still slumps due to hormones. I even had to have pt when prego with number 2 becasue my legs would get pulled short due to pelvis twisting. Anyway…

  • Jackie February 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I have never had kids, but I did have my gallbladder removed through my belly button. I can feel a two finger gap. Before the surgery I had a very tight core, but just can’t seem to get it where it was. I’ve never had this “pooch” before, and I’m not a fan!! Is it possible to have this from gallbladder surgery?

    • Ebbsies February 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Was it the larascopic procedure that they blow your abdominal wall out with gas and insert tubes to operate rather than a large incision? Because my diastis after kids wasn’t that bad until I had appendicitis and had larascopic surgery done, then I had an umbilical hernia afterwards once I was healed because they made the gap even larger/higher. It’s getting better though, but because of the hernia now, I will never fully heal my diastis, but I am still making progress by not doing exercises that make it worse!! 😀

  • Kirsten February 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you soo much! I had my daughter 6 months ago and while working in a Physical Therapy office i realize that i cant do anything because my core is too weak! I noticed i had Diastasis when i was going 16 weeks into my pregnancy not knowing what the heck it was! So glad i found this website!

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  • Jessica H February 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Wow- I am so thankful I found your website through Pinterest! I carried twins and had a c-section almost 4 years ago and I’ve never been able to get rid of my “pooch” no matter what I do. I just used your method to check and I can fit 2 fingers.
    I will definitely be adding the exercises you recommended here to my workout routine. Thank you!

  • Sarah Bella (@Sarah_Bella_30) February 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I’m going in for my second hernia repair because no one told me about diastasis after my 3 c-sections. I went back to the gym and tore my core to pieces. I now do several of the exercises you mentioned, but I’ll definitely be adding the others! Thanks for an awesome post!

  • Jackie February 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    @ Ebbsies yes, it was. I totally think I have this 🙁 Ill be doing these exercises. How do I know if I have a hernia? The doctor told me I just had a lot of scar tissue that would break up sooner or later. My inny belly button is now an outtie!!

  • Brooke February 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my Lord!!! Why did I just see this article. With seven kids it was so hard to lose my belly. Crunches … Definitely hurts…but so far no results. Thanks so much for being honest. I am crying here to find someone who understands my pain…my inability to walk after a workout…not just because I am sore but because of something I could not explain. I do agree that some workouts listed above are hard…thus weak core. Will definitely be doing this workout. Thanks for the posting. Will update.

  • Maria February 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I have it and its so bad that people ask me if I am pregnant not sure what to do any more. I really need any help that I can get, is there another way to fix my tummy?

  • Steph February 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Wow I was just sent this and it was so helpful, I did crunches for years and never got anywhere! Mine is quite bad I can fit atleast my whole fist in there, and not only does it not look pretty, you can see all the movement from your organs underneath and that feels/looks horrible! I am pregnant again right now, so I will be following this advice as soon as I can!

  • Kuwanna February 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I can only fit one finger but I am so sure I have this after reading some of the other womens’ posts. I, too, have been asked if I am pregnant, and I, too, pooch out if I so much as look at any food. I, too, have an extremely sore lower back. I didn’t have this with my first baby (I have two). My husband keeps telling me to do crunches…glad I have procrastinated. Instead I wear a girtle which helps a lot for the appearance but summer is around the corner and I’ll be sweating under that girtle! I’d like to try the exercises you suggested. I have done many of them in the past to strengthen core for long distance running and also to help rehabilitate a lumbar hyperlordosis condition. Thank you so much, at least I have hope and understand what is going on here.

  • dshore February 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    i’ve been doing bodyrock workouts for about 2 months now, but i just checked to see if i had the gap..and yes i do! i can fit about 2 fingers. I also had a c-section 18 months ago. These workouts really work my core in all different kinds of ways, not just abdominal. do you think i should stop?

    • dshore February 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      *these bodyrock workouts

  • Crystal February 11, 2013 at 5:51 am

    My mom has this. Her doctor at the time encouraged her to work out as soon as she felt up to it. She started working out again shortly after having me because she wanted to stay in shape. She had no idea why she could never get the pooch to go away until I said something during one of my pregnancies that lead to a discussion about it. Is this something that can be done thirty years afterward or does it have to be done right away to see results? She is still an athletic woman and I’m sure she’d be thrilled if she could correct it.

  • Tammy February 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I checked for diastasis and dont think I have a seperation, i pressed down kinda hard on my belly button and didnt really feel a gully, i felt what seemed like hard muscle. But my question is, how can you tell if you started out a little plump to begin with before your pregnancy and are still struggling to lose the baby weight a year later? Should I ask my doctor to check for me?

  • Dee February 12, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I have this gap, and have had no “live” births. I have, however, had multiple miscarriages, and a stillbirth (@32 weeks). Cancer surgery,(Incision from belly button straight down to bikini line.) An ectopic which exploded, then an ovary removed and tested for cancer. I have tried pt for a short time, but then had lower back injuries, and a car accident. Most of my pt since has been focused on helping my back, but I am thinking if I strengthen my core, it might help my back also. Any thoughts if this is safe for back, and post surgery? (I am going to be having another surgery for possible uterine cancer soon.)

  • Karen February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I finally got a name for this condition when my daughter was about 3, she is now 8. I have tried several times to deal with this, even had a personal trainer, who did everything except deal with it. I have been told that once the children are over 5, chances of sorting this problem are negligible, is that correct?

  • Karen February 15, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for your reply. I was wondering, will the crunch free ab exercises you posted above fix the diastasis, or is it necessary to do the MuTu to get the deisred result? thanks

  • Maria February 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I am definitely going t try these workouts. Being diabetic I gained 70-80 pounds. I went from being 117 pounds to 192 when I gave birth. Had a c-section. I have gone down to 150 pounds but can’t seem to lose the pooch. The weight doesn’t bother me too much seeing as I can just wear clothes that fit. The only problem area is the pooch. I tried the muscle test but seems as its about 1 1/2 maybe a 2. My son is 14 months and I think it’s about time to talk to my ob. Thank you!

  • Shannon February 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    This is amazing! I am so doing this now. I have been working out in my home for a year now and have been frustrated with my stomach results. This makes totally sense. Thank you!

  • Jess February 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I am going to start this. My gap is 8 inches. I had my three babies within three and a half years. All three c/s. I am also 4’11 and had almost 8 pound babies. My youngest is 17 months. I have been told by a two doc’s that I need a tummy tuck. But I don’t have the money, time, or energy to have that done anytime in the near future. I just have accepted my new ugly big tummy, but maybe there is hope??? I don’t know.

  • Christie February 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I have about a finger gap. So should I not do crunches?? My last c-section was almos 7 years ago. The top part of my abs is looking like a six pack but my lower abs are still a pooch =(

  • Candice February 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I never knew this was a condition! I’ve had one c-section, and I can fit two fingers. My diastasis recti is coupled with very troubling long term digestion problems, and is extremely embarrassing for me. I cannot eat a real meal without looking very pregnant afterwards. It’s so bad that I will not eat decent meals on the weekends when I go out. I’m so glad I found this page, definitely will be starting the workouts! Thank you!

  • stephanie February 27, 2013 at 12:07 am

    THANK YOU for this website. I linked to it via Pinterest. I had never heard of this before. I thought it was just something I have to live with after having three children. Bless you for the info!

  • Michelle February 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Witch exercises the 6 at the top or r there others ur doing on video

  • Tiffany March 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Wow…. I just checked and my gully is more than 4 fingers wide. I have never even heard of this condition. I knew that I had bad stomach muscles, but never new there was an actual name for it. I have had 4 c-sections. I physically can’t even do a sit-up. I am going to try this workout.

  • Julie March 3, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Is it just me, but I can see the full picture of the exercises??

  • Melissa March 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    THANK YOU! I have never heard of this and I thought I just couldn’t get back to my body I had before my children. I exercise and eat right but my mid section never looks any better. I am so happy I found this! I almost wanna cry lol

  • Joyce March 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    A number of these exercises I did in physical therapy to strength my core due to back muscle strain. My stomach was getting flat with these movements. I was not getting my stomach flat from traditional crunches or Zumba classes.

  • Michelle March 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Great Post! not very many women know this, and I feel you did a great job breaking it down, for people to understand. Lucky for me I did a lot of reading after I had kids, and was fortunate to have a family doc who did the finger test after each of my 3 deliveries, and I’m happy to say I’m pouch free and I have my abs back! I do wish that I knew these exercises then, and I think it’s great that you warn people not to work out if there is too much of a gap. I think most women are eager to get back to their pre pregnancy shape that they over look this crucial step.


  • Tiffany March 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Do push-ups and leg lifts make diastasis recti worse? I am also a swimmer and hoping that will really help.

  • Jada March 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    How long does it take to get it back if it has been 5 years since the last baby? I had a c-section back in 07 but I had never heard of this till now. Is this still fixable for me?

  • Danielle March 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I just came across this blog through Pinterest and was wondering theres an update?! I see this is dated 6/2012 and was wondering what results you saw through the exercises and information you learned.
    I just did the at home test and see that I have a gap almost 3 fingers wide. Could explain my issues with a jiggly pouch of a belly and back issues 😉

    • inspiredrd March 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Honestly Danielle, I didn’t stick with these exercises because some of them were hurting my neck. I am now on the MuTu System and will be updating periodically as I go.

  • Billy March 10, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Hi there, i had a baby 3 months ago with c section. I can totally relate to all the ladies about the pooch, it is horrible. Being a sporty and active person it was hard to accept, after an episode of embaressing bodies I was happy to hear that it takes 6 months or so for muscles to come to original position but unfortunately not for all. I have a one finger gap and can do all core muscles easily and am hoping pooch will desapear. I have enjoyed ur article…very inspiring 🙂

  • liz March 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I have been looking for information on what level Diastasis is concerning. I bloat after I eat, but I can reduce the amount of bloating significantly by watching what I eat. There are days that my stomach stays pretty flat all day, and there are days when I eat cookies, have milk or bread, and I will bloat. I started reading about Diastasis and decided to see if I have one. I checked, and at the most, I could fit 1.5/1.3 fingers in around my belly button, and that was the largest gap. Additionally, I wear a size 4.0 ring; I have extremely thin fingers, so I asked my husband to check. He was unable to get one finger in, I any place. I have 4 kids, and I had a 6 pack after number three. I have begun working it daily again, and my abs are getting hard, but I do have that bloat. My concern is whether I can do crunches and leg lifts with a level 1 Diastasis. I read so much contradicting information. Currently, I do about 100 of each everyday. Mu ab muscles are pretty strong, and even in the area where a finger can be inserted, it is immediately met by hard muscle underneath. I ordered the Tupler Technique just to be on the safe side, and I do plan to use it; however, I’m not sure, given how slight my gap is, if removing exercise for 6 weeks and not doing crunches pertains to me. I’m 5’3 and 97lbs. I’m in good shape, and my abs have always gone back to a 6 pack after a baby. My concern started because there was this bloating I had never experienced before.
    So is a level 1 actually a Diastasis, and do I really need to abstain from exercise and/or crunches with such a slight Diastasis?

    • inspiredrd March 12, 2013 at 7:05 am

      Hi Liz, it sounds like you are pretty strong! I would not recommend removing exercise for 6 weeks to wear a splint, it is not needed. I do recommend watching the updated post with the video interview of Wendy Powell of the MuTu system. She talks about the levels of diastasis. It sounds more like certain foods are making you bloated, not that your core isn’t strong!

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  • Amanda March 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

    hey, I have a question. I am a mother of 2 crazy boys. The first one was born in 2010 and the 2nd one was 2012. I had to have two c/s due to complications. I had the first c/s low transverse and the 2nd one was classical. I am trying hard to lose the belly and tighten that part but I am having a hard time. Do you have any advise that could help. I know that once you have had a c-section it is harder for your stomach muscles to be like they were, but I would really like to do something.

  • Chrys March 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    4 kids, 4 c-sections, last 1 was 16 yrs ago. I am 5′ & weigh 102lbs. I do not eat flour or grains. I was a trainer for years & have just completed P90X again. I have this pooch right under my belly button that will NOT go away. It always pokes out & I had no idea this is what it was. Boy I hope this is the answer because I cannot tell you how annoying it is & since P90X it has gotten bigger. I guess all the ab work is making it worse.

    • KC March 16, 2013 at 9:39 am

      I have just started P90X and would love your opinion on how it works for normal people (I’m convinced the people in the videos are from outter space!) Especially, on the abs and back fat area. Would you recommend these exercises and healing this mummy pooch before P90X?

  • KC March 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I just checked and if I did it right I’m almost 3.5 fingers. I could cry about that! Everyone I know just says there’s nothing you can do about it but after finding this I am determined to get back into a bikini (which I have not worn since before my daughter was born in 2009!) THIS YEAR! Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Rachel March 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I have not had kids but am finding that while my core seems to be fairly strong, I still have a belly–YUCK! Could I have developed this from doing traditional ab work outs and can I fix this? I would love to say goodbye to the belly forever!

  • Jen March 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I just happened to come across this and found it interesting. I have three kids but have had two c-section surgeries. I did the test and can fit 3 finds and a little of the fourth. From what I am reading I am screwed and will always look 6 months pregnant. I am going to start on these excercises ASAP. Thank you!!

  • Tina Fargnoli March 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Great to see you post this on PInterest!! I train clients go learn how to heal from that as well as pelvic floor issues in Toronto.

  • Dawn March 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    no wonder after 5 kids i thought i was never going to have a semi flat tummy again!! Iwill try these consistently, but for how long?

  • Amanda March 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I have had four babies(not at the same time). I have one and a half fingers. What is normal?

  • emily March 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I just saw this article on Pintrest and I totally have this!!! I have had 4 c-sections in 5 years. Iam very fit and athletic, but I wonder why my low back and core is sooo weak. I pull my back out every month. I also look pregnany after all my meals. Its really uncomfortable 🙁 I have been doing major crunches and think it looks worst! Tell me how to fix it!! Help!!!

  • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, I wish I had found this long ago… I have suffered for many many years now, starting at a young age and I know that no amount of traditional ad exercise fixes. I have been severally self conscience of it… I felt nothing but an exspensive yummy tuck was the cure. I’m so glad I finally found this! Can not wait to start the exercises and see the results!

  • Alicia March 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Hi! I think it’s interesting that this page has been circulating around pinterest lately 🙂 I too have DR, and was constantly asked, on a weekly basis, if I was pregnant. It was incredibly frustrating!! I’m pretty sure I had it after my first pregnancy, but it definitely worsened after my second. I’ve been searching the internet to find whatever I could about DR. I recently went through Wendy’s MuTu program. I don’t know if there was much improvement, but I am much more aware of my core during anything that I do. Prior to the MuTu program, I tried splinting it and doing certain core exercises. I might have to try these on you page. I’ve been trying to document my progress throughout everything I try. I feel like talking about it has helped me deal with it. It was almost like going through the stages of grief! I think I’m in the acceptance stage…at least for now. How is your DR now? (I know this post is a little old). Sorry if my thoughts are a little rambling…I felt like I had a lot to share 🙂

  • Courtney March 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Hi I had my daughter three years ago, and I had a natural birth.
    I did the test with the fingers and I can barely fit two, when I lift up and have two fingers in it will be extremely tight or slightly push a finger out…
    So I was just wondering if I do have this and if I should stop the crunches I have been doing ?

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  • Moriah April 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Can you still work out your obliques with mountain climbers or do these make it worse?

    • inspiredrd April 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

      If you are falling out (stomach protruding) when in the mountain climber position, STOP!

  • Sarah April 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

    So glad to have found this!! I’ve had diastasis recti since the birth of my twins, 7 years ago. Not until the last year or two did I even know it could heal without surgery. Been learning bits and pieces about it here and there – I expect this to be one of the best things I’ve learned! I will be doing this. Thank you.

  • AngelaO April 10, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Mom of 2. 2 years and almost 5. 1 vaginal and 1 section.
    Question is: since the section I have a very large lower pooch. I am overweight to begin with, and also have a large abd hernia. Is there anything in your exercises that I should steer clear from? My MD has requested that I not do traditional crunches or V holds. Thanks for a great article. (Btw, I’m 2.5-3 fingers! Ugh!)

  • gina April 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Found you through a pin on pinterest and I have a question. I have had two c-sections, my most recent one was 7 months ago. I have been having pretty severe pain and weakness in my hips and lower back. My doctor says xrays show I have arthritis n the joint that connects my spine and hips. Do you think strengthening my core could eliminate some of that pain? I haven’t checked or been checked for diastasis but I am about to. I suspect my core was weakened by the first pregnancy and the second one finished off my back.

  • Gina April 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I am not sure whether to break down crying or be relieved. I checked and the gap is nearly 4 fingers. No wonder my core is so weak. I have been starting to have trouble just walking. Where do I even start? I am afraid if I tell my doctor she will say I need surgery. After two c-sections I never want to have surgery again.

  • Shawna April 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Helpful info!

    2 C sections, last one 2 years ago. Severe SD with both pregnancies. Did intense physiotherapist with a pelvic floor specialist and it helped initially, but then stopped. My gap is still 4 fingers wide. I have had ultrasounds that show no hernia. However, if I eat something and then lay down, all I you can literally see the food bulging as it works its way through my intestines or stomach. It is a brainy type firm but squishy, especially if I have little tummy gurgles or anything. It is horrible! My stomach literally bulges out as the food is moving through like a big worm, feels tight and uncomfortable. On the waiting list for a Plastics Surgeon…but then the question will be whether it gets covered or not. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound hopeful as it is still considered cosmetic, ridiculous. My stomach is completely flat if my stomach is empty. I am 100 lbs, 5’2 and is quite good shape, tight everywhere except my bulge. Just hoping I can somehow get it covered, or else, not so sure…think it’d be close to $10,000?

    • inspiredrd April 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      From what I’ve heard, the insurance companies will cover it if it’s a hernia…so frustrating. Have you contacted Wendy Powell with questions? She’s the expert I refer people to now.

    • Shawna September 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Update – am booked for diastisis recti repair surgery in one month! And I am not paying a cent. Finally received a call from the plastic surgeons office, where I had been on a wait list for almost 2 years. First step was a consultation and then a CT scan to rule out hernia. I was actually worried that if it didn’t show a hernia, that it would never be covered; it showed that I do not have a hernia. However, there was no question, he said that I had a very severe case of diastisis recti, accompanied by some of my unpleasant effects/symptoms (heartburn, intestines literally move around through the gap in muscles, low back pain chronic). So there is hope to getting the surgery covered!!

  • Michelle April 15, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Is Pilates something that could help correct it?

    • inspiredrd April 15, 2013 at 7:04 am

      There are many pilates moves (like “the hundred”) that could make a diastasis worse. You would have to be very careful to have an instructor who understands diastasis.

  • Pat April 15, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    What a relief to see this! I cannot do a single crunch after 3 sections and 1 set of twins. I’ve always suspected the sections damaged muscles but it’s great to find a remedy – besides crunches! Thank you! My husband wondered if you couldn’t do these exercises prior to and throughout pregnancies as a preventive measure.

  • Desirae Sifuentez April 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you for this. My daughter is 3 months now & I’ve been attempting to workout & I never thought to check for this! I wouldn’t want to hurt myself so I’m defiantly checking for this! Thanks again!(=

  • Dafni April 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I’m so excited to start these exercises!! I’ve had two kids naturally and can fit 1.5 fingers. Grateful that it’s not any bigger, but still. I knew there was something up with my tummy muscles. Thank you so much for the information! I’m starting tomorrow!!

  • Mich April 18, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I would have sent this to y sister but there is only g-mail. I use hotmail.
    Great info!

  • melody April 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Ive hadone c section and i just checked if I had diastasis and I finger fits in the gap. What does that mean? Do I have diastasis or not?

  • Caitlyn April 20, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Is it possible to have diastasis recti without ever being pregnant or having a baby?

    • inspiredrd April 20, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Yes absolutely possible. Many men actually have diastasis too.

  • April April 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Are there YouTube videos that you would recommend that show these exercises?

  • Melissa April 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I have no idea if I actually have this, I did the checking like you said and I can fit one finger in the gap inbetween but not quite two. Does that mean I have it? I honestly don’t even know if Im checking right. I am only 20 with 2 kids and don’t know what to do to get rid of my left over baby belly!

  • Grace April 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    So did you heal your diastasis? I just came upon this and I have been doing exercises and they haven’t helped…but I haven’t done them regularly. A positive end to this story would be really encouraging right now. Thanks!

    • inspiredrd April 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Grace! I’m not healed yet because I didn’t do the exercises faithfully like I planned. My health took a nosedive for a while, so I just started earnestly working on my diastasis this month. I am currently doing the MuTu exercises and can definitely feel them working. Check back in a month or so for another update!

  • Jeni April 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Soooo, does this mean I shouldn’t be doing traditional squats or sit-ups until I’m stronger from these recommended exercises?

  • tach April 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I couldn’t find a gap, so I don’t think I have diastasis. I do, however, have a mommy pooch. I was obese when I got pregnant with my daughter, had a c-section, and that was almost two years ago. I’ve been going to Curves and was wondering if you think any of the machines would help with diastasis. I’m thinking in particular the ab/back, oblique, and lateral lift machines. If you’re unfamiliar with theses machines, I’ll gladly give you more info about them.

  • Taniesha April 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Thanks so much for the info! My baby will be 3 this coming October and I had NEVER heard of this, I checked and sure enough, I have it, 2 fingers wide. I will be modifying my ab workouts from now on! Should I just stay away from crunches and planks or all types of ab exercises while doing the modified version?

  • Karina April 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I’m so glad I found this. I’ve had 3 pregnancy, all vaginal. After my 2 I had sugary to repair a abdominal hernia & embilical hernia. After it was repaired I saw my stomach get flatter and after 3 months was able to start workouts. Now after my 3rd baby I have a big pooch again. Looks like I’m 6 months pregnant, even while sucking it in. 🙁
    I have a lot of wait to lose still but I wonder if I have a hernia again or diastasis? It’s so frustrating when I see my profile. I just wish my stomach would go down already. Any advice. I’ll Definitly start these exercises.

  • Diastasis Recti – do you have it? | cleanhousegal April 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

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  • Kimberly April 30, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Great exercises! Thanks for posting. I knew I had this, but had no idea it was 2+ fingers wide. That’s what a 9#10oz baby + bed rest and c-section does, I guess. And now 3 years later, it still needs work. I would love to hear updates from other people who have been doing these regularly also. Please post!

  • Debbie April 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    This has a lot of really important information on diastasis recti, it’s causes, and what you *really* need to do to fix it permanently. Please read, especially if you’re giving advice to other moms about diastasis.

  • Alondra April 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    OMG, thank younsonmuch for this article, I’ve exercising a lot lately, trying to ole my last 10lbs. (I had my baby girl Leilah, 7 months ago) To only find out that my belly is bulging out more than it was before. I thought that i had an hernia, or developing one! I’m so going to start this exercises right away… My gap is two fingers wide!

  • Diasastis Recti What? | Fit Mother Hubbard May 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

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  • Tiffany May 5, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Love the info! I thought I had this but turns out there was only a 1 finger gap (is that a very mild form or normal?) I think I’ll do the reps regardless 🙂

  • anna May 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I don’t have it in my upper abdomen. I checked, just like you described, and my upper core muscles are intact. However, I was wondering… is it possible to have muscle separation on your lower abdomen but not your upper?? I feel like since my c-section my lower abdominal muscles are very weak in comparison to the rest of me. It’s almost like they turned to jelly after I had my son….

  • Jessica May 7, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Does this help heal abs even if the last child was born 4 years ago? I am so excited to try this but want to know my odds so I don’t expect to much.

    • inspiredrd May 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Yes! Check out my other diastasis posts. It’s never too late to start!

  • Hope May 8, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Hi, thank you for this great information. I found a finger gap on my belly. I have suffered from lower back pain for many years after an auto accident. I went to years of PT but all the exercises were too hard for me to do because I just couldn’t gain any core stability. I think this gap may have resulted from the car accident. I will try these.

  • Fufs May 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thats very frustrating, i am very tiny, but cnt get my puch down, my belly is a pooch, i stopped carbs, nd i xcersice , dunno what else to do

  • julie May 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I almost can fit 2 fingers in the gap. Can I do regular exercises or no? I just started the insanity workout but have not gotten to the ab part yet. Thank you

  • How to test for Diastasis Recti May 10, 2013 at 7:35 am

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  • sandy May 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I have had 9 pregnancy and 6 full term. They are all only a couple
    Years apart. I’ve done Insanity twice and am very active. After my last child was born you could put a fist between my muscles now only 2.5 fingers. I’m going to try this to c what happens!

  • Gretchen May 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    This is very interesting information……I’ve just started working out since my third child was born (4 years ago!!). I’ve been going to the gym for about three months now, and I have been doing the regular crunches to firm up my abs. My belly hasn’t gone down as much as I’d like, but I have to admit- I did the test to see if I have this condition and I just can’t tell! Are my fingers supposed to just push down with no resistance? I think I feel SOME resistance…..does that mean I don’t have this? (I do feel like my stomach pushes out after I eat, though maybe not as much as some other ladies on this thread)

    Thanks for your help!

  • Dee May 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thank you so much I was told I needed surgery to fix this and I used to beat myself up doing sit ups and crunches getting depressed when I only ended up straining my back and no results on my tummy, I will definitely be doing this.

  • Michelle May 14, 2013 at 6:16 am

    What if you cannot do exercises 5 and 6 because of bad knees? I have to avoid squats and lunges altogether.

  • lisa May 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I had no idea what was wrong with me after having kids. I will be starting this exercises immediately! Thank you so, so much!!

  • Amy May 20, 2013 at 5:29 am

    It’s been 11 years since my last c-section. I am about 100 lbs over weight. I did all but the last 2 exercises for the 1st time today. Only because I don’t have the exercise balls, yet. When I did the self-test for destasis I could put 4 fingers into the galley. My question is: am I too far gone? Will these really help me?

  • Saray May 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I didn’t know about thiis, I always knew that there was something wrong after I had my c-section because no matter how much I work my core I didn’t get results thank you for the post my is 2.5 k will be doing this exercise with you

  • Sarah Huss May 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Wow, I have a four finger gap!!! So glad I read this! Thank you!

  • Vicci R. May 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

    This is very interesting. I haven’t checked yet or spoken to my primary or OB yet, but would this be something that insurances would cover for treatments?

  • Kimberly May 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    This is the first I have ever heard of this. My daughter is 19 years old now and I am a size 3 but I have never been able to get rid of my pooch! I hate it and have done every kind of an work out! I can’t wait to try these new workout exercises. Thanks a million!!!

  • LaineyQ May 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Wow! I’ve spent 4+ yrs & several thousand dollars at the doctor trying to figure out why I was so bloated after every meal, progressively getting worse by the end of the day. I’ve had a colonoscopy, sonogram, CAT scan, bloodwork, tried alternative medicine from a chiropractor, and none of these doctors ever suggested distasis! Mine is only about 1finger wide, so hopefully I can repair it some with these exercises. I’m tired of looking 5-mos pregnant! Thank you 🙂

  • Kim May 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I am so glad I found this on pinterest. I have had 3 csections with my most recent one being only 8 months ago. I am excited to start the workouts. I guess all those crunches were not helping me at all this whole time 🙁

  • Carol May 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you for posting this. It explains so much. I had my son via C-section 20+ years ago. I also had to have hernia surgery cutting right between the muscles about 5 years ago. I believe it caused back problems to the point I was on crutches 3 years ago.

  • Aaryn June 2, 2013 at 7:47 am

    What does it mean if you go to check for this and your a abs actually come together and you can feel them coming togther with your fingers? Is that a good thing? Because i don’t feel a gap.

  • Angela June 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I didn’t know there was something called diastasis. I don’t even know if this is something I have but considering I look pregnant nearly a year after my youngest child by c-section and four years after my other c there is a good chance these exercises could help me. My muscles are so weak it is difficult to hold my stomach in. I also have fibromyalgia that has made it difficult for me to exercise as much as my mind wants to. Your tips seem to be good small steps I think I can manage, I hope.

  • jay June 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Great article. ..thank you much! (Mother of 3, currently training to be female personal trainer)

  • Lee Anne June 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Hi I am just reading your info and know for sure this is what I have I have four children my third was a ces cation ans this was when I noticed this my fourth baby is eight months old and I started back at the gym now for four months. Am I able to fix this I have been doing a lot of hard ab workouts , crunches suitcases planks you name it i am doing it. Will I be able to fix this after doing all these exercises

  • Shay June 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have read through the comments posted and I can relate to a lot of the ladies on here. I have 2 kids via C-section and after I eat, I look like I’m about 6 months pregnant! So I will definitely try these exercises. I also want to commend you for handling the nay-sayers and those questioning if you have any medical credentials. You are speaking from your own experience and the results of the exercises provided by not only your clients for those posting on this site. There are a lot of doctors or medical professionals out there that give advice on types of exercises to do and they produce absolutely 0% improvement. So if this helps even a small percentage of women, at least we are all informed and now have options for strengthening our core! So hats off to you!

  • Evelyn Wall June 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

    After reading your article I thought ‘this must be what I have’ but after checking I find that when I left my head – it seems I have a complete ridge (large ridge) going from my sternum through to a really large umbilical hernia then onto almost my pubic bone. There is no seperation at all only this ridge. Dr’s have told me it is the muscle sheath that has seperated which is what you describe but mine is so totally different. What do you think then?

  • Kelly June 15, 2013 at 7:51 am

    How long after giving birth should I wait before starting these exercises? I am 35 weeks preggo now with #3 and want to get back to normal ASAP. With baby #2 I was able to start working out a week post pardum and started running at 3 weeks.

  • Kelli June 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I never knew it had a name! I’ve never been an exercise lover, and my body shows it. I thought I had a hernia, but now I know that this is what is wrong. After 3 babies, I better get it under control…..

  • Wendee Garvin June 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I have never heard of this before and I am pretty sure I have this. I would love to work out.

  • vanessa b June 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Finally something that makes sense to me… I have 3 kids from the ages of 15 to 10 and no one ever told me about this .. I have always had low self-esteem about this big pooch that makes me look prego… so I am going to try these hope they work I can put 3 fingers.. thank you so much for letting me know about this…

  • rufina sanders June 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Where can i find a 30day ab challenge safe for after child birth? Ive tried looking online and pintrest, but all work outs have both crunches and sit ups included. I so have diastasis, and dont want to make my pooch worse. I want reaults but also want them in a safe way.

  • Shelly Solero June 22, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Oh my goodness, I didn’t think this could be corrected without surgery, I’ve had 3 pregnancies, very large babies (first was a few ounces shy of 11 pounds) and unbeknown to me, went ahead and did regular ab work outs, and planks. I was a size zero, very narrow hips, and gained over 60 pounds. Needless to say I had some severe stretching after all was said and done. I did not gain as much with the other two, but close. Since all pregnancies are different, I carried my son and ALL the weight in my belly. I was able to lose all the baby weight quickly after each baby, but my abs were a train wreck, I have this crazy dinosaur spine looking thing protrude through my ab muscles anytime I lean back,while standing, in the slightest. Aside from hanging skin, can this problem really be rectified!?

  • Erica June 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    This is very interesting, I have always had a “pooch” right above my belly button (even as a child). Now after having given birth ( all 4 natural) the last almost 6 years ago I would like to be done with it once and for all. I now have another problem, I have that very nasty lower belly sag (like an extra gut that just hangs there). Could this be a problem with the lower abdominals as well? My last 2 pregnancies were very hard on my lower belly, both babies stayed real low and I ended up with that belly support band. My OB/GYN (whom I still adore) never mentioned my needing any kind of special exercises…3 babies in 3 years did not help. I just can’t seem to get anywhere with typical exercises.

  • Sara June 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I could cry. Finally, some validation that I’m not crazy or vain…this pooch (after 2 Csections for 2 enormous babies in 2 years) is real, and I’m physically weakened because of it. Most docs just laugh it off–“you just had a baby!” which is beyond frustrating. Just one question: have you tried both programs, The Tupler technique and the MuTu program? Which do you find more effective? Thanks in advance for your insight, and thank you for this post! 🙂

    • inspiredrd June 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      I did the Tupler technique off and on for a few years but never with the full splinting process. I am currently doing the MuTu program and am having good results so far! Have gone from 2.5 to 1.5 finger gap.

      • Sara June 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        Thank you for such a speedy response, and for the info! : ) This gives me hope!!

  • Erlinda Shen June 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Never heard of this condition until I read this article, forwarded to me by a friend. This is GOOD stuff, which I will be using. Thank you very much!

  • Stacy June 25, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I keep reading any core exercise without splinting is dangerous, and can worsen the damage? Is this true?

  • donna Smith June 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Well I’ve had 4 children and am reasonably thin. Although my stomach does protrude a little I didn’t think it was too bad. I just tested and found I could get 4 fingers in. I’m definitely gonna start doing these exercises. I think I’ll try to do them twice a day for 2 weeks and retest then. Oh how I would love a flat stomach again. Not that it’ll ever happen! !

  • Vicky June 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I am up in age and I had 3 c-sections and never thought to look for this. I am going to see because I cannot do v-ups or boat post for long without feeling this weird sensation. Thank you sharing

  • LauraS July 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I have had 3 children, the oldest is 15 and the youngest just turned 7. I have been working out all my life and have been so frustrated with my belly looking like a deflated balloon, after pregnancy. I do crunches like crazy and even trained with a trainer. Nobody ever told me that I needed to first fix the separation of my stomach muscles. I always knew I had a huge gap there but I thought I just wasn’t working them enough. I was just trying to accept the fact that I will always have to hide my belly. The rest of my body is in great shape except for that area. I am so glad I stumbled upon this page. Thank you so much. I am going to start the exercises today! I finally feel like there is hope!

  • Marisa July 1, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Great site. Best of luck to you! I have two children (ages 6 and 5). I’ve been doing PT for the past five years for this and closed the bottom portion (under my belly button) in the first 6 months. The upper portion is still open and I am still a work in progress. I’ve been feeling hopeless lately about getting this done without surgery, but it helps to see others are working so hard for a common goal and I am not alone. I still have stomach, rib and back pain along with the stomach pooch, but have come a long way. However, I think surgery may be in my future. I’m giving it one more year of consistent exercise.

  • Linda July 1, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    ok girls, I had 2 c-sections, many years ago. My stomach was flat until I was about 41. Then it kept getting bigger and bigger.I had all kinds of digestive problems and had many bouts with IBS. I also had many MRI and a couple of cat-scans. I began an extreme Pilates class when I was 51 years old. Little did I know I was making the situation worse. I ended up with gourgeous legs, a tight butt and slender hips. My arms were toned and I was elongated, accept I looked pregnant. It has been horrible to get dressed each day and even worse to shop. I actually began to design my own tops that were flowy and loose along with elastic waisted pants and leggings. I also began having horrible back pain and groin pain. I went into menopause at age 55. Things only got worse. I am 62 years old now and people still ask me when the baby is due. This Wed. I have another cat scan because my Dr. thinks I may now have a hernia. This big belly causes many other problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, back and groin pain and bladder issues. If anything serious is ruled out, I am finally going to get this taken care of with surgery. Perhaps if I had known then what I know now, I could have done these excercises and corrected the problem. You may ask, why at my age do I feel the need to get rid of this belly. I need to correct my other problems. My Mom had this very same problem and although she lived to be 91 years of age, she suffered with stomach and bladder problems. Her stomach was huge and when she passed away this past February, she was only 85 lbs. her face was beautiful and her stomach was still huge. We are living longer these days and I don’t want to have this junk in the front anymore. So, all of you young women, do the excercises. It is too late to help my problem with this Tupler method, but, not for you. Don’t wait . I will keep you posted with my results and my progress. There are many serious issues that happen when the stomach is too big for the hips to carry, please use this simple approach to correct your problem, I am not looking forward to surgery at this point in my life.

    • Tina AKA I swollowed the Grand Canyon July 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Wow that is all I can say.. I came across your site while searching for a “repair” fix for my awful body shape
      I actually almost cried thinking there might be a light at the end of the dark tunnel for me after all
      About me: I am 49, 5′ 11″ and weigh a ton..
      I have two lovely children, 17 and 14.. I started dating my husband when I was 19, and weighed about 101 pounds..
      I have put on more than 120 pounds since then..
      I have been pregnant 6 times..
      I had a miscarriage in my 5th month
      I had a miscarriage in my 4th month
      I had my daughter
      I had a pregnancy with triplets, then two heart beats, then one, then none, all in the 6th month
      I had a miscarriage in my 4th month.. decided I could not possible do this any more..while on depression medicine..
      I was pregnant yet again, delivering my son.. I had everything removed, could not possible handle any more heart break..

      I have two lovely children, their only medical issues with everything else is they have: Von Willerbrands Disease.. (bleeders)
      I was told if I continued, the offspring would inherit it in a worse condition.. (we found out about the disease when they were ill, my daughter was 6)

      I have been told by two surgeons that I have Diastasis Recti and that surgery should not be an option.. due to the Von Willerbrands disease, any blood loss is risky for me.. my last two surgeries were scary..

      Honestly I am very down on myself, fat jokes hourly, I cone from a larger family anyways, yet: I look 9 months pregnant, I am asked very often how far along am I? it is slowly stopping due to fact that I am starting to look my age 🙂

      My sweet mother said she would take out a loan, so that ZI could have surgery, my husband is AGAINST it, said he could not live without me.. yet I am so unhappy..

      My back is sinking in, causing back and hip discomfort..

      My stomach is very large.. I do have a “saggy baggy” section way under my belly due to the “c” sections, all were breach babies as well..
      I have learned to get up out of bed, using my arms on each other for support, my stomach looks like the “ALIEN” other wise..

      I have not been on a exercise regiment ever.. while being honest..
      My marriage is now in danger, I feel..
      I don’t like the “lights on”
      I don’t want him to “see” me
      No more “candle light” nights..
      All in all the sex drive is decreasing.. and my husband is still a 30″ waist, handsome guy.. who deserves more..

      I do joke around, yet I am crying inside, and loudly..

      I recently went to yet a third doctor, he handed me a slip of paper that says: Diastasis Recti..
      I said now what do I do.. he said it is a bit late, yet you could try exercise..

      Offended, did he mean: Now you are going to try to take care of your body? or did he mean
      It has been too long after the babies? honestly, I would love to just have surgery and start over..

      the doctor said, he has two patients who have had it done.. and both say they would have never done it given a second chance!

      So all in all.. is it possible to repair what I am assuming is the Grand Canyon under my old, out dated body?

      I made the mistake and looked at pictures online of different ones that had surgery, they don’t even look that bad.. so maybe it is too late..

      For me my ribs give me issues a lot due to this.. my left side mostly.. I can no longer sleep on my back, actually I don’t sleep much at all..
      I wear a stretchy back support most days to help relieve the pain from my ribs, that they said is also due to the recti

      thanks for letting me vent.. Signed.. Am I having Twins?

      • Wendy Powell July 11, 2013 at 1:19 am

        Dear Tina, Alysa, brought your comment to my attention to ask if I could help. I think I can. First my heart goes out to you for all the physical + emotional pain your body is causing you. No woman should have to put up with that. Yes, birthing our babies is a natural process… what we’re designed to do. But I refuse to believe that we’re designed to endure that kind of heartache (not to mention back ache), + as you know all too well, its not just our bodies that suffer, its our hearts + our relationships too.
        Where I’d like to try to help is in correcting the physical issues which are causing the DR. You see, diastasis recti is so often the fall guy, blamed for every related physical issue, but actually DR is a symptom of an underlying problem. Its not the problem in + of itself. I write + teach about this frequently (for your reassurance, I was recently asked to speak to a pelvic health specialist Physiotherapist group who now incorporate my work into their treatments) + to sum up, diastasis recti, along with hernia, pelvic floor weakness + prolapse are all caused by the same problem – excessive intra abdominal pressure. That’s pressure inside your abdomen + pelvis, pushing out.

        Right now, every time you move, get out of bed, lift your laundry, your child or a bag of shopping, that pressure is straining outwards against your weakened abdomen, as well as downwards onto your pelvic floor. It’s all pushing the wrong way.

        My MuTu System programs, that Alysa so kindly recommends on her website, are designed to reverse that pressure. My research over more than a decade of putting moms’ bodies back together, has taught me amongst other things, that to tell women that all they have to do is bind, pull together, splint, or in some way ‘fix the gap’ in order to repair their core – is doing them a huge disservice. You see the gap is one outward sign of a bigger inward problem. You can Pilates, crunch or bootcamp to the end of the earth, but if that pressure is still pushing the wrong way, you’re fighting against your body, not helping to repair it.

        MuTu System is a very progressive 12 Week program that starts with the foundations. It starts by reconnecting, then restoring, + then strengthening your core. Because unless you understand it + reconnect with it, you cannot hope to make it stronger. The ‘reconnection’ part is explained in the program but its so important. You see right now your body, heart + mind are not connecting. They’re kinda not on speaking terms, if you like. The emotional trauma you have experienced, along with the physical pain, have ensured that you + your abs… are not best friends. And that’s where MuTu starts the process. Many women describe it as the missing link as to why no standard exercise program has worked for them before.

        I explain + meticulously teach you, through video, demonstration s + written instructions, how to do just the right stretches, alignment shifts + exercises that will help put your body back in a more optimal place so it can being to heal.

        It’s not too late I promise. Will you get a zero gap + washboard abs? That’s I can’t guarantee. (And actually a small gap remaining is not an issue – its more about the strength of the midine + the function of your core). What I can assure you is that by following all the steps in the program, however subtle or inconsequential a stretch or shift might seem, that over a matter of 8-12 weeks you will start to really, really feel a difference. Its not a fix you do + then stop, these are stretches + movements for the long-term – but believe me, they will feel good, so stopping them really won’t be a temptation!
        There’s also advice on the right nutrition to help your body heal + stay strong, plus very low impact (but high intensity) workouts as you get stronger to shape + strengthen your body, as well as lose fat if that’s also a goal.
        I hope this helps to explain where your issues may be coming from, + to reassure you that there are techniques that can help you become pain free + even body confident again.
        Alysa has a discount code on here – (use: INSPIREDRD) so click on any of her MuTu System badges or links + use this code to get 15% off. I would recommend the full 12-week program + you also get automatic access to a global community of ‘Mutu Mamas’! This is a closed group on Facebook of MuTu customers only (you’re safe to talk here) where as well as access to a truly incredible community of women all sharing your journey, you can also easily ask me or my team questions.

        I hope this helps. Wishing you health + happiness,
        Warmly, Wendy

        • kari July 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

          The discount code didn’t work for me. Is it still available?

          • inspiredrd July 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

            Which code did you try?

        • Tina AKA I swollowed the Grand Canyon July 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

          Huh I have to say I am surprised tat I actually received an answer..
          I am relieved to hear that you think I might be saved.. the inside me that is.. the website is amazing.. I am not that “tech” savy..
          I looked at the 12 week program like you suggested.. My question is: I would like to get it online, so that it is right away, as well as to be able to communicate with you/someone.. Yet I do not do facebook.. is it possible to do it through email or through one of your sites? otherwise I guess I would have to use the other choice..
          Sadly we are not financial in the place to just drop the $100+ not that the product, nor myself is not worth it.. two years ago my husband was in an accident, he broke his neck, no disability and out of work for almost a year.. we were hurting financially, we just lost our home, three weeks ago after over 20 years.. yet we are getting ready to have a yard sale and I am ready… need to know online version or in the mail version, again… I thank you for responding.. and I do know this is a challenge as well as a life changing obligation.. thanks again.. Tina

  • Infinity July 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

    and for diastasis of obliques, are the exercises the same?
    thank you.

  • jadelynzz July 5, 2013 at 5:23 am

    After having my 7th baby 5 1/2 years ago at almost 40 is when I noticed mine didn’t go back like they did with my other babies post pregnancy.I was about 3 fingers apart but started doing a lot of side bends with 25 lb weights,ab coaster doing 15 on the sides and only 6 or 8 on the center and more training to strengthen the obliques which seems to help pull them back together.Now I’m probably about a little less than 2 fingers apart.I do not do crunches or situps.I just can’t ever get rid of the little pooch aka mothers apron and of course the loose skin is another issue.Thanks for posting these I will have to add some of these to my workouts.:)

  • heather July 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Hi ive had diastasis recti for around 2 yrs I had a 3 finger gap now its about 1. I do jumping jacks and exercise bike also sit up slightly with splinting. Is exercise bike safe to do with this as I heard it works oblique? An is it likely my muscles will fix bk together? I got a horrible jelly belly mummy tum its quite depressing. Anything u can advise please? Many thanks

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  • Andrea C July 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this..My doctor thought I had diastasis recti because my stomach walls are so incredibly weak my stomach pushes out and makes me look 6 months pregnant, which I am not. After two children ’00 and ’03, an incarcerated hernia in my belly button ’09 and the removal of a 10 pound mesenteric cyst ’11, after a CT scan I actually have THREE hernias which have to be repaired in September. I think all of these things (ie kids, scar tissue, placement of incisions contributed to the weak stomach walls!! I will need to do these exercises to get my stomach walls strong again. I would love to just be able to get up off the bed without something popping out of my skin!! Thank you again

  • Andrea C July 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Can a prolonged diastasis recti result in a hernia if not dealt with or managed properly? I just found out about it from my doctor but already have hernias….

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  • Maria July 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks so much for this information! 3 weeks pp and I really wanted to start working on my core, but turns out, my belly isn’t ready. I will wait till it is, and follow your healing guidelines until then!

  • Ashley August 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I just had my 3rd baby and my gap is about 3 fingers apart. Baby #3 was a huge surprise (my 2nd was 13 mos when #3 was born!). I’m almost 5w pp and desperately want to get my core strength back. About how long should I wait until I start working on healing the gap?

  • Cynthia August 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I had 3 C-sections and my DR was awful. I had to wear a support belt through my third pregnancy because my muscles were so weak. My midwife said that I had the stomach of a lady who had 7-8 pregnancies. After giving birth to baby #3, I always looked pregnant. People would ask me when my baby was due…. It was humiliating. I worked hard to lose all the baby weight, but I still had the belly. I even bought the Be-Fit Mom DVD, but I think that my DR was just so bad nothing but surgery was going to fix it. July 12, I got adominoplasty, a hernia repair and my DR repaired. My plastic surgeon said he has never seen a separation as severe as mine. Insurance covered nothing. It was worth every penny. I am still recovering from the surgery, but I feel great! I got in the best shape I could before the surgery and I think that was beneficial to the recovery process. It is amazing to look in the mirror and not just see ‘the belly’, but see me. 🙂

  • Christal August 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Hi there. I have a pretty bad separation. Its about five fingers..anyway, I audio now have a fluffy tummy and am wondering if that can be fixed without surgery, I’m not looking to surgery to fix my separation yet but I’m so sad…i just want to wear t shirts again

  • Lei Lani August 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hello, I am confused how you breathe out but tighten abs. Any tips you could email me would be great

  • Kassandra garrison August 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I had my son 3 1/2 years ago. Is it too late to correct diastases? My husband and I began p90 A couple of weeks ago. I noticed during some of the exercises that my belly bulges at midline. I’m thin everywhere except for this Bulge, And had never realized that the reason why my belly is big after eating was because of diastasis. In addition to exercises do you recommend a support device during the day and at night?

    • inspiredrd August 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Kassandra, it is never too late (hooray!), and the experts I talked to don’t recommend splinting because it isn’t helping train the muscles to be strong. Check out the MuTu system and let me know if you have any questions!

  • Belly After Baby August 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I’m 1.5 weeks into the Tupler Technique (exercises to correct my diastasis) and am blogging my journey at I’ve gone through so many emotions over my protruding belly and have scoured the web for answers! I’m seeing some results from the Tupler Technique already and am thrilled -but have a long ways to go. Like many who have commented, I have a very severe case (9 finger width) and have already had my initial consult with a surgeon for repair. Thanks for getting this convo started, amazing to see all the responses. Best of luck to all of you ladies!

  • Shannon Doolin August 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I am 34 years old and I have had 5 children but only 4 pregnancies. I have a 9, 7, 3 and 2 year old twins. My last pregnancy was twin boys. My last two pregnancies were back to back. I had my 3rd child and then found out 5 months later that I was pregnant with twins! I have also had 4 C-sections. My last pregnancy was 2 years ago. I don’t know if I have Diastasis Recti. I can’t tell because I have belly fat too from the pregnancies. I have done the test but I still can’t tell if it is fat or Diastasis Recti. I can definitely feel my upper ab muscles under my belly fat, but I get confused when trying to feel for the Diastasis Recti with the test I have read and seen to do. It is hard for me to tell because all the videos of the women doing the tests have flat tummies without belly fat. What should I do?

  • k. johnson September 1, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I am 4 1/2 months out from a c section with my daughter that weighed 10# 3 oz at birth. I did not workout for the first 6-7 weeks then decided to ues my Abcircle machine mod to gard for a few days. I have reinjured my stomach. At the end of the day I have a pooching out on the right side above the incision with pain. This injury happened over 12 weeks ago and has gotten some better but is not healed. I really want to start exercising again will this injury ever heal!?!?!

  • Momchalant September 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

    So glad a friend of mine shared this post with me. I have struggled to lose my C-section “poof” and general exercises can be really difficult for me. And now I have an explanation!

  • julie September 26, 2013 at 11:43 am

    thank you for your post. when I was pregnant with my last baby I noticed the separation happening towards the end but I didn’t know there were separate work out to do for it to heal. My baby is almost for months now. Anyway I will be doing this work out d now,did the test almost 3 fingers fit.

  • Gina October 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Would you recommend a good shaper or something like that to wear during the day to help as well? I have had 8 babies in the past 14 years and I think I need extra support. I am not overweight and lose my baby weight each time, but I have had a hard time with the diastasis these last two babies. There are so many shapers on the market, I was looking for one that I could also slather in an herbal cream to also help strengthen and support the area. Thanks!

  • Ashleyanne Bntn October 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I only have about 1.5 finger of space, not even. Would you say I can proceed with a “regular” workout?

    • InspiredRD October 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

      It depends. Does your tummy bulge or dome out when you do regular crunches and other ab exercises?

      • Ashleyanne Bntn October 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        My tummy does not “increase” into a bulge or dome, it stays just its flabby self when I do a crunch.

  • Momma2 October 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    So basically the muscles develop with crunches but they looked pooched out due to gap

  • Alice October 28, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Did this work? I’ve recently had a baby and have diastastis recti. I’ve always been in good shape and have had a flat tummy, so this has been a challenge! I’m trying the basic workouts but don’t feel challenged at all, but am too afraid to try something more rigorous. Has anyone had positive results with this workout? How long does it take? Also, is it safe to run?

  • DianeMargaret November 17, 2013 at 5:20 am

    What if you do not have (and can not currently afford) an exercise ball? Can I do the same move, sans ball, and get similar results?

  • Chelsea Keesler November 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Doing Kegel exercises while doing the workout might help, too. 🙂 This same information is helpful for any woman working for a “tighter” core, since crunches and sit ups tend not to target the lower abdomen. Thanks for the illustrations!

  • Abdominal girdle December 6, 2013 at 2:13 am

    This is a Nice post all the information are really amazing this is the best way of exercise thanks for the sharing for the wonderful post…..

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  • Patty January 2, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I was just checking to see where the exercises are listed for mom’s with diastasis recti? I couldn’t see them here. Thanks.

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  • Katrina March 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I had my baby three weeks ago and I’m ready to exercise but I don’t want to make things worse by working out my abs to early. Are these exercises safe to do this early?

    • Jade April 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

      It is generally recommended to refrain from exercise for a minimum of 6 weeks after giving birth (natural birth; 3 months for C-Section). However, it is not unheard of for moms to start exercising earlier, but I would strongly recommend getting clearance from your doctor first.

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  • Lil March 31, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! for sharing this information!

  • Stephanie April 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

    So is it gone now? Did you heal it?

    • InspiredRD April 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

      I just posted an update. I went from a 2.5 finger width deep gulley to a 1 finger width much more shallow separation. It’s working!

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  • finding_me April 18, 2014 at 1:49 am

    I had this so bad after my daughter. I could almost fit 4 fingers, after doing these faithfully for two and a half years, I can barely fit one in there. Don’t worry I started seeing results with in 2-3 months. Myne was very large gap and it was very hard in the beginning but just stepping different would throw my back out before, or if I lost balance. Do these not only for your abs to look good but to protect your back.

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  • Hilow4322 May 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Hi. I was wondering how long it takes to see results? I have three kids the youngest of which turned 2 in January and she was a c-section. The reason I’m asking is because anytime I do push ups if get searing pain in my lower abs and I think this is the culprit. I would really like to get back into shape but it just seems so far out of reach. Thoughts?

  • Rachel May 14, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Thank you so much for the information! I am 27 weigh 135, but could not get the belly pouch gone after my second child, even though I’m very active. In fact it was getting harder doing the same exercises post preg. Now I finally know why my muscles feel different!! My diastasis is 3 1/2 finger widths apart. I’m starting the exercises and healing process immediately. Thank you!!

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  • LKay July 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

    How have I not heard about this condition before?!? I just turned 60 this spring; my oldest is 30, my youngest is 28, and I’ve been suffering from this condition all these years! I will definitely begin these exercises, and hope it helps. I guess it’s true… you’re never too old to learn.

  • Jo July 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Hi, is it possible to have diastasis when you’ve only had 1 baby? I’ve had abdominal pain in my belly area when I lift up heavy stuff, and I did the two fingers test and I think I might have a separation of 1.5/2 fingers, not sure… Thanks for your insight!

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  • maria November 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    You can also splint your abs by pulling both sides of your torso toward midline with your arms to help prevent further separation
    -PT student

  • twotwinmama January 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you do very much for this post. I have a set of twins that are just over five years old and I recently found out I am having another set of twins in August. These exercises helped me go from just over a three finger gap to one and a little in about 1 1/2 months. I will definitely be using them throughout this pregnancy and afterwards as well!! I also put them on a facebook group that I am a part of full of other multiple moms. I am hoping it will help them as much as it helped me. :)!!!!!!

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    I just had 2 hernia surgeries one hiatal and one umbilical, I am 71, had 6 kids ,a hysterectomy, and a job that required heavy lifting, I knew something was wrong with the way my stomach sticks out below my rib cage. Is there any hope for this to be repaired after all this time?